Nevada is arguably best known for Las Vegas and its multibillion gaming industry, best embodied by its mega-complexes of hotels, resorts and casinos. Despite the billions of dollars generated by the city, the state of Nevada continues to diversify its economy by attracting investors from Asia and developing other growth centers around the state.
One of the top five global players in its industry, Konami Gaming wanted to be at the center of it all. In 2005, the Osaka-based company built a new office and a gaming machines production facility in Las Vegas in line with its global expansion plans.
“Las Vegas is a good starting point. In this industry, regulations require a high level of investment. The U.S. market is the largest and we’re seeing the need to expanding it globally,” explained CEO Satoshi Sakamoto.
Satoshi said that in the last ten years, the gaming industry has changed a lot not only in terms of technology but also in popularity. Aside from Macau, long considered Asia’s gaming capital, the industry has experienced sharp growth in Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines.
To consolidate its position, Konami realizes that it needs to work more closely with the head office in Japan and develop games that will appeal to a younger generation.
Reflecting the growth in gaming, tourism has experienced dynamic growth as a result. Passenger traffic at McCarran International Airport, just five miles outside Las Vegas, exceeded 45 million in 2015, up from nearly 43 million the previous year.
“We’re seeing a lot of growth in business travelers and Japanese investment here. Asian hotels are popping up and they feature an Asian flair. This has been evident in the West Coast,” said Director of Aviation Rosemary Vassiliadis.
Vassiliadis pointed out that the consumer electronics and consumer technology shows, such as the annual CES event in Las Vegas, were contributing factors in bringing in more business to the state and attracting more foreign travellers.
“The growth at McCarran Airport is seen in the community already. The Asian community in Las Vegas has increased as a result of increased businesses activity,” she said.
Beyond gaming and tourism, Nikkiso Cryo, a manufacturer of cryogenic pumps, has experienced impressive growth in Nevada because the humid climate provides the ideal conditions to design and test new technology for the transport and storage of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Heavily invested in Nevada, Nikkiso Cryo has tripled its workforce to more than 100 people in the last three years.
The company has increased its global market share to around 50% with exports accounting for about 90% of total business. President & CEO David Cameron believes that more growth will originate from Southeast Asia, particularly from Malaysia and Vietnam.
“We’re an innovative company with a strong balance sheet. We’re always looking to the future. I was delighted with the acquisition of JC Carter, last year,” Cameron said.
A proudly homegrown company, Rimini Street is an independent provider for enterprise software support services that has grown by nearly 40 percent in the last three years, opened 13 offices around the world, and built a global client base of more than 1,300 companies.
Established in Las Vegas in 2005, Rimini’s annual global revenue exceeded $150 million last year, with its Japanese subsidiary emerging one of the group’s fastest growing.
“We’ve built a reputation globally and now we’re bringing it into Japan. It was our success around the world that got us through the door. But it’s the success in Japan, now that really breathes the growth,” said CEO Seth Ravin.