Japan's legal casino industry is about to explode
newsonjapan.com -- Jul 30
Japan recently gave the green light to legal casino resorts - how have the plans been affected by the pandemic crisis?

Has COVID-19 put the brakes on Japan’s burgeoning casino industry?

2020 was supposed to be the year that Japan got serious about starting up a regulated, legal casino market. Then came the pandemic, and the postponement of the long-awaited Summer Olympics, forcing some delays to the casino plans as well.

According to the latest from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the halt is only a temporary one, and the planned developments are still going ahead. Supporters of legal gambling establishments are hoping that Abe’s promises will come good, since Japanese online casinos remain prohibited for the time being – you can find out more about that at https://mrcasinova.com/ja.

A closer look at the facts reveals that there are grounds for optimism. In fact, after the current crisis recedes, we can expect to see rapid growth in the near future.

Brief legislative history

Most gambling is effectively illegal in Japan, but that doesn’t mean that people aren’t interested. The popularity of pachinko parlours is proof of that fact; analysis shows that the games pull in more annual profit than all of the casinos in Las Vegas combined. Clearly, this is an untapped market with the potential to be of great benefit to the economy.

Recognising this, lawmakers have tried for twenty years to make changes to the strict gambling ban. Just a look at the success of the Macau casino industry during this time is enough to demonstrate what is possible.

The breakthrough came in 2018, when a bill was approved that sanctioned the establishment of casinos within the country. Some rules for locals apply – no more than three weekly casino visits (or ten in a month), and an entrance fee of ¥6,000 – in order to discourage compulsive behaviour.

Integrated resorts

Initial bidding on the first of three so-called integrated resorts started to following year, for proposed sites in Osaka, Tokyo and Yokohama. Strong interest from famous brands such as Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands and MGM illustrated the potential of the market.

MGM eventually won the bid, partly due to the withdrawal of other contenders who now say they are focusing on the other sites. Before the scheme could be greenlit, however, the pandemic struck and left the stakeholders in limbo.

Delays to the process

Authorities insist that plans are still going ahead, with a moderately revised timeline. Where the Osaka resort was originally due to open its doors in 2027, it is now expected to be ready by the following year instead.

There has been a similar delay to other site proposals. Cities and prefectures have been given an extension to make applications for further resorts in their area. According to the government, the legal land casino industry will be up and running before the end of the decade.

Boon for tourism

Despite calls from opposition parties to change course, the government is standing firm in its intention to create casino-based tourist destinations in Japan. According to Abe, the resorts will be a central pillar of the tourism industry, post-COVID.

At present, the response from MGM has been positive. Calling the delays ‘reasonable’, an MGM Resorts Japan spokesperson indicated that they are willing to be patient in the face of an unprecedented situation.

Huge growth expected

Despite the setback, international investors are keen to push ahead with their expansion into Japan. Already a hugely popular tourist destination, the addition of all-inclusive casino resorts is sure to pull in a lot of high-spending visitors.

The legal casino industry in Japan is on the brink of an enormous boom, which will be in full swing well before 2030. Along with Vegas and Macau, Japan could be the next contender for the world’s most popular casino destination.

News source: newsonjapan.com
Jan 25
Lower-ranking sumo wrestler Daieisho has won his first title in the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament that ended on Sunday in Tokyo. (NHK)
Jan 24
Japanese sumo wrestler Kotokantetsu was uneasy. Coronavirus was raging through Tokyo and ripping through the sumo wrestling fraternity, whose lives are controlled by trainers and handlers. (washingtonpost.com)
Jan 23
The Japanese government has denied a major British newspaper's report about a possible cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics this summer. (NHK)
Jan 20
Among the young sumo wrestlers lifting weights in the ring, 10-year-old Kyuta Kumagai stands out. (Reuters)
Jan 20
Japan's government plans to hold the Olympic Games in Tokyo this year without making vaccination against coronavirus a condition of participation. (7news)
Jan 20
Gold Cup challenger Champ made a surprise entry in the 51 inclusions for the Paddy Power Stayers' Hurdle Chase at Cheltenham Festival. (newsonjapan.com)
Jan 18
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has vowed to forge ahead with preparations to hold the Tokyo Olympics, in the face of growing public opposition as Japan battles a surge in coronavirus infections. (7news.com.au)
Jan 16
It is less than 200 days until the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics are due to get under way, but among the Japanese public, fears over the virus and the spiralling cost of the Games mean most would rather see the event postponed or cancelled altogether. (FRANCE 24 English)
Jan 15
Japan's top-ranked sumo wrestler Hakuho has been released from hospital after being treated for a coronavirus infection, Japanese sports daily Sports Hochi reported on Thursday. (yahoo.com)
Jan 15
Japan's government has told sports bodies it will temporarily suspend the current entry exemptions that allow foreign athletes to enter Japan in order to train and compete ahead of this summer's Tokyo Olympics, a source with knowledge of the matter said Thursday. (Kyodo)
Jan 13
The head of the organizing committee of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games has expressed his commitment to hold the events this summer. (NHK)
Jan 11
The oldest active player in Japan's professional soccer league has renewed his contract. Miura Kazuyoshi will turn 54 during the upcoming season. (NHK)
Jan 10
The New Year Grand Sumo Tournament kicked off at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan arena on Sunday without 65 wrestlers belonging to four stables who either tested positive for the new coronavirus or were in close contact with those who did. (NHK)
Jan 10
Around 80% of people in Japan believe the postponed Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics this summer should be canceled or rescheduled, a Kyodo News survey showed Sunday. (Japan Times)
Jan 10
The New Year Grand Sumo Tournament could be canceled if wrestlers continue to become infected with the novel coronavirus, the tournament's chief organizing official said Saturday after five more wrestlers tested positive for the virus. (Japan Today)
Jan 10
Canada’s Olympic wrestling champion Erica Wiebe has said frontline workers and vulnerable people should be prioritized over Olympic athletes for the new coronavirus vaccine. (Japan Times)
Jan 10
Bitcoin trading has become one of the most popular ways to make easy money. (newsonjapan.com)
Jan 10
Casino games were created as a form of entertainment from a wide variety of different people. (newsonjapan.com)
Jan 10
As in any situation in which there is a lot of choice, when it comes to slots it can feel somewhat overwhelming when you realise just how many games there are to choose from. (newsonjapan.com)
Jan 08
Athletes should be prioritized for the novel coronavirus vaccine so the beleaguered Tokyo Olympic Games can go ahead later this year, according to senior Olympics official Dick Pound. (Japan Today)