American casino operator Hard Rock Cafe International Incorporated has announced the establishment of a dedicated Japanese subsidiary set to be led by former Sands China Limited boss Edward Tracy.

Orlando-based Hard Rock Cafe International Incorporated, which has a presence in more than 74 countries, described the formation of its Hard Rock Japan subsidiary as a “strategic move” that has been designed to “support the company’s growth plans in the region”.

Last month saw legislators in Japan pass enabling legislation that could see a pair of integrated casino resorts legalized as soon as next year and Hard Rock Cafe International Incorporated is thought to be interested in one of the gambling licenses but faces competition from the likes of Genting Singapore, Boyd Gaming Corporation, MGM Resorts International and Las Vegas Sands Corporation.

“As the former Chief Executive Officer of Sands China Limited and Chief Executive Officer of the Trump Organization, Tracy brings more than 30 years of proven gaming, hospitality and integrated resort experience to Hard Rock,” read a statement from Jim Allen, Chairman for Hard Rock Cafes International Incorporated. “We are confident in Tracy’s ability to lead the company’s efforts in Japan and we look forward to seeing our business continue to grow under his leadership.”

Hard Rock Cafe International Incorporated, which operates eleven North American casinos including the Hard Rock Hotel And Casino Lake Tahoe and the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel And Casino Hollywood, partnered with WDI Group to open its inaugural Tokyo cafe in 1983 and currently runs six of the non-gambling venues in Japan.

“With the recent passing of Japan’s [Bill For The Promotion Of Integrated Resort Facilities], the company fully intends to apply this expertise and recognition as a major contender among the bidders for resort licenses,” read a statement from Hard Rock Cafe International Incorporated. “Tracy’s appointment and the launch of Hard Rock Japan further solidify Hard Rock Cafe International Incorporated’s rapid expansion efforts and commitment to growth in Asia.”