This year’s edition of the Japan Gaming Congress was much of the same as before. Mostly operator sponsor pitches, same speakers as previous years, and then some interesting content sprinkled in here and there.
The panel I had the honor to moderate had an amazing group of panelists, and I am proud to say that we had some great feedback for discussing real-life human resource issues that Japan faces when the IR industry launches.
Prof Hara, who dropped by from University of Central Florida, was a new voice to Japan IR scene. An expert in the hospitality and tourism industries in North America and the Caribbeans, he left us with some of the numbers and realities of how foreign influence overpowers locals in the early stages of IR development. Jason Ayers, our recruiting expert, and Muhammad Cohen, an experienced Gaming journalist and also an editor at Forbes, both pitched in great examples they have encountered in the past. The panel shared the thought that there is still much long-term planning and implementation needed in Japan going forward, and perhaps this realistic and constructive view with real-life examples resonated with the audience.
Unfortunately, this year’s JGC Attendance was down, and personally I was really shocked to see that the Japanese event website did not have any price info or even a Japanese link to purchase tickets or inquire about the event. Not sure who the target audience was, but it sure wasn’t Japanese. However, there were some very great presentations and new speakers that deserved to be heard, and I hope they all get another shot on Japan soil.