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Michael Penn

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Michael Penn is a journalist and scholar based in Tokyo, Japan. As a journalist, he both writes print news articles and produces news videos. On the video side, he has several years of experience doing it all by himself: reporting the stories, shooting the video, and editing the packages. As a scholar, the bulk of his past publications have been about Japan's modern relations with the Islamic world.

Wakayama IR Promotion Council urges operator selection

A general meeting of the Wakayama IR Promotion Council held last weekend passed a resolution urging the prefectural government to make its decision on an IR operator partner as soon as possible.
Pachinko barbecue Oasis

Pachinko industry needs new business model

Even before the Covid pandemic it was apparent that the pachinko industry, at least in its current form, possessed a dying business model. Recent events have only accelerated the trends.

Bicycle racing shares in Japan’s online gambling boom

Japan’s Keirin (bicycle racing) has not been left behind in the nation’s recent online wagering boom. While revenues have been advancing slowly in recent years, in 2020 overall ticket sales jumped to just under JPY750 billion (US$6.9 billion), a 13.6% year-on-year increase.
Yumeshima site

Osaka frets over loss of leverage and scaled-back IR ambitions

The authorities in Osaka are concerned that they have lost leverage in negotiations with the MGM-Orix IR consortium, and that poor business conditions will force a significant scaling back of ambitions, according to the reporting of the Nihon Keizai Shinbun.

Oshidori makes CSR push in Nagasaki

Facing crunch time as Nagasaki Prefecture nears its final selection of an IR operator partner, Oshidori International Development is making a big push through CSR policies to distinguish itself from its remaining rivals.
Huis-Ten-Bosch-Aerial

Nagasaki forms education consortium to support IR development

A consortium of public institutions is being formed in Nagasaki Prefecture to support the education of young people who may eventually work at the prospective IR at the Huis Ten Bosch theme park or in related industries such as hotel and MICE.
Chicago Cubs-Chang-Yong-Lim

Japan sparks up debate on legalized sports betting

The possibility that Japan might legalize sports betting for popular sports like professional baseball and soccer exploded into the public view on Wednesday with a scoop carried in the Financial Times.

Pachinko industry dismisses Covid emergency closure requests

In response to the latest state of emergency declaration in four prefectures, it does not appear that any pachinko company has chosen to comply with their governors’ requests to suspend operations.

Yokohama anti-casino forces struggle to select unity candidate

The possibility that the Yokohama opposition will fail to agree on a viable anti-casino mayoral candidate is growing as the target date for making a decision continues to slip.

Japan off-track betting venues suspended over Covid emergency

The new state of emergency declarations for four urban prefectures in Japan is hitting the horse racing associations in various ways, including the running of races without spectators and the suspension of business at off-track betting facilities.

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UM forecasts Macau GDP growth of 21% in 2021

The University of Macau expects Macau’s GDP to grow by between 21.4 and 33.5 percent in 2021, should annual tourist numbers surge back to between 13.8 and 21.7 million. 

China LotSynergy seeks as much as HK$220.7m through share sale

China Ecotourism Group, formerly known as China LotSynergy is seeking to raise as much as HK$220.7 million through an offer of shares to existing investors to raise capital for the group, whose lottery business has been hit hard by the Covid crisis.

Genting HK agrees financing package with creditors

Genting Hong Kong has reached a financing accord with creditors under which it will receive EUR300 million ($362.2 million) in new funding and the renegotiation of interest and maturities on existing debt.
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Genting Spore Q1 casino revenue ticks higher, other metrics deteriorate

Genting Singapore has reported a 2 percent increase in casino sales from the final quarter of last year, indicating the pent-up demand that had been driving performance has largely stalled.

Okura Holdings to close two underperforming pachinko halls

Hong Kong-listed Okura Holdings said it was closing down two of its pachinko parlours due to intense competition in the industry and the impact of Covid.