Japan has done well introducing its own casino bill and legalizing the industry. What follows next is for an integrated resort to appear with bids from multiple well-established operators finally taking place. But there is more to this as reportedly 40 other municipalities are now pushing for the same privileges. Each one wants their own resort.
Casino and the Japanese Bill
Japan has had a long history of trying to make casinos legal. While the Government-backed bill did reach its intended mark, it only legalized the running of such venues within specific areas. However, the potential for the economy is quite substantial and from Macau to South Korea, local operators are now worryingly looking the way of Japan and what could be the next gaming hut in Asia.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that as many as 40 municipalities may have applied for a gaming license in Japan. This is a great number of local lawmakers trying to bring casino operators closer to home. Even though the integrated resort bill won’t see the first properties open doors for another five or seven years, early adopters are already making a substantial push.
Meanwhile, the government hasn’t been twiddling its fingers either. Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, has expressed a sentiment that he and his fellow party members would like to see casinos open door as soon as possible. There has been some controversy over whether politicians have accepted kickbacks to speed things along, although these claims have been quickly dismissed, though.
The Country of the Many Casinos
Given the present ETA of all new casinos, many municipalities are likely to back out of pursuing an early license for a casino so early on. However, the amount of sheer interest is noteworthy and it means that Japan, law-abiding as it is, has been awaiting the day when casinos will be allowed to operate freely in the country. The IR bill is just the latest victory.
However, victory as it may be there is still the long process leading up to actual facilities equipped to entertain thousands of tourists and foreigners, and naturally – the local gaming enthusiast.
The Diet now has got to sit and think where the new integrated resort will be. According to reports, Osaka is primed as one of the key locations in the whole country. Multiple international operators have already stated their intentions to make an entry into the market. Nearly 200 meetings have been held, sources say, between representatives of the Osaka government and lobbyists and direct representatives of the casino brands themselves.
Caesars and MGM have been both making a strong push for one of the slots, albeit little is known to the general public.
Meanwhile, the hopes that Japan can easily top Singapore and become the next hottest casino market in Asia are quite justifiable. Macau and South Korea are two of the main hubs for gaming enthusiasts in the region, but a fresh, untapped destination such as Japan certainly has its charm. It will be years, but the wait is likely to be worth it.