Casinos in Japan? Are They on the Way?

Posted on June 10th, 2013

It seems like the huge success of Macau has got everyone in Asia in copycat mode. The Philippines are building casinos, Singapore’s already reaping the rewards from the Marina Bay Sands, and now it looks like Japan could be ready to open up its market.

Japanese lawmakers are closing in on legislation that would allow casinos to operate in the Land of The Rising Sun, and they have Macau in their sights.

A bill is to be submitted to the Japanese parliament later this year that would free the way for joint ventures with casino firms to construct casinos across the islands.

Japan is  the only developed country without casinos, but they are aiming to catch up fast.
Japan could become one of the largest gaming jurisdictions on the planet. Whether they can catch up to Macau remains to be seen.

It is thought that even 2 gaming resorts in Tokyo and another in the Osaka could rake in revenues of $10 billion annually.
And if gaming resorts tie up with hotels, shopping malls and other entertainment offerings, this figure could be substantially higher, even approaching $100 billion over the long-term.

The 2 casinos in Singapore have a combined revenue of over $5 billion in 2012. And the former Portuguese colony of Macau is now the world’s largest gaming hub that pulls in more than six times the  revenue of the Las Vegas strip. Macau’s gaming revenue ballooned to a jaw dropping $38 billion in 2012.Vietnam are also looking to get in on the act.

Japan has long been seen as the “Golden Mountain” of Asian gaming thanks to its wealthy population, demographics, proximity to China and taste for gambling, including horse racing and betting on football games.

Pachinko Players in Japan

Pachinko, a  video poker style game played incessantly in every corner of Japan, is thought to bring in more than $200 billion in annual revenues.

New Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to put a shot in the arm of Japan’s long-stagnant economy and get national debt down, which is more than twice the size of the economy.

Japan also wants to boost tourism numbers. Casinos could provide the solution, but as ever there are also worries about problems with gambling addiction and the threat from Japan’s organised crime network. Time will tell.


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