MGE Reveals Plans for Proposed Resort in Hokkaido, Japan

Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment (MGE) is ready to invest between $3.5 billion to $4.5 billion to develop a casino resort in Tomakomai, a city located on the Japanese island of Hokkaido.

Hokkaido’s prefectural government is currently considering inviting an Integrated Resort. Japan plans to allow up to three casino-Integrated Resorts to be built in the country, and according to Japan News, local governments are fiercely racing for the opportunity to host them — a process that requires selecting an operator, then filing for government approval and inking concrete plans.

As Japan News noted, MGE is considering hiring 5,000 to 7,000 people for the proposed Integrated Resort.

The envisioned Integrated Resort would take advantage of the island’s natural environment and forests, offering horse-riding facilities, ski slopes and even areas for “farming activities.” Infrastructure would include three hotel towers, convention space, an entertainment arena and more. A museum would highlight both Mohegan culture and that of the Ainu, an Indigenous people in Hokkaido just recognized by the National Diet, Japan’s bicameral legislature, in April.

At the press conference Friday, MGE Chief Executive Officer Mario Kontomerkos underscored MGE’s prior experience operating casino resorts in similar, natural environments to that of Hokkaido — in the U.S. and Canada.

He also emphasized MGE’s ability to leverage a customer database for an Integrated Resort underway in South Korea at the Incheon Airport. Named Inspire, the $5 billion South Korean attraction will cater exclusively to foreign nationals. (US$1.6 billion would be the investment for Inspire’s first phase of development; a total of $5 billion would be invested over the course of 20 years, MGE has previously said.)

Japan has yet to appoint a central authority or release policies and regulations for Integrated Resorts in the country. 

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