Hard Rock Pitches Female Empowerment With Japan Integrated Resort Bid

Posted on: October 7, 2018, 08:00h. 

Last updated on: October 7, 2018, 07:14h.

Hard Rock International is taking a different approach than its competitors in trying to woo over Japanese officials for one of the three integrated resort casino licenses.

Along with promising a substantial investment in developing an entertainment and hospitality complex featuring a casino floor, Hard Rock is conveying a message that it will empower women.

Hard Rock Japan casino resort
Hard Rock wants Japan to know that it will empower women through its casino project. (Image: Hard Rock Japan/Casino.org)

A new social media marketing campaign titled “Future is MINE Powered by Hard Rock” shows a young woman traveling from her native Japan to meet with various female executives at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

The woman first meets with Jennifer Rice, vice president of human resources, who explains how her employer respects a work-life balance.

“I can have a career, and have a family,” Rice tells the Japanese-speaking woman. “If I come to work, and my son is getting an award at school, I make the priority to go see him get the award.”

Japan has long ranked poorly in gender equality assessments. On the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2017, Japan placed No. 114 of 144 countries analyzed. The World Economic Forum added that Japan experienced “reversals of progress” last year.

Osaka, Japan’s second most populated city, recently severed its “sister city” relationship with San Francisco due to the California metropolis’ “comfort women” statue. Located in the city’s Chinatown district, the statute depicts young Asian women who were forced to work as sex slaves for the Japanese military during WW2.

Rocking the Vote

Hard Rock believes its international brand familiarity and gaming experience in numerous countries best qualifies it for IR licensure. Empowering women is another added weapon to its arsenal, the company hopes.

Hard Rock International actively supports women’s empowerment globally,” a statement declared. “In Japan, we will support every woman who wishes to play an active part in society to express her individuality and to realize her potential.”

Hard Rock Japan, LLC, is being headed by Edward Tracy. The CEO led Sands China and its development of the Cotai Strip. He was set to retire when Hard Rock apparently made him an offer too good to refuse.

Standing Out in Crowd

Japan’s legislative body signed off on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Integrated Resorts Implementation Bill in July. The measure authorizes three IR casinos in three distinct areas, taxes gambling at 30 percent, and charges Japanese residents a ¥6,000 (US $53) entrance fee.

Nearly all of the world’s major casino operators are interested. Yokohama, one of the presumed frontrunners to land one of the IRs, revealed last month that it has received 12 proposals including from companies such as Caesars Entertainment, Melco Resorts, MGM Resorts, and Wynn Resorts.

Las Vegas Sands, Galaxy Entertainment, Hard Rock, and Genting Group are some of the other major players that have expressed interest in building a multibillion-dollar casino complex in Japan. Though the competitive bidding process is slowly beginning with companies formally presenting early plans, Japan’s Casino Administration Committee will first need to finalize its controls in overseeing the liberalized commercial gaming industry.

“Throughout these next stages, local Japanese governments, Japanese corporates, and casino operators will be working to form consortia, based on shared visions for the IRs,” Osaka University Commerce Professor Toru Mihara said last month.