The awarding of the Olympics to Japan may be seen as a purely sporting piece of news, but for gamblers, it could see some big changes, especially in Tokyo. With the expected influx of wealthy tourists, Japanese local jurisdictions look set to battle it out for casinos, thanks to the new Japanese gambling laws that set out tax levies for one.
The government taxation system for casinos is likely to be set at a maximum of 20%. 10% of the tax take will go directly to the national government, while the local governments will be able to determine how much tax they wish to collect. This is expected to see some jurisdictions reduce their take to as little as possible in a bid to attract operators to their locality. In other words: this is big gambling news for Japan.
With major US casino operators such as Las Vegas Sands Corp and MGM Resorts International putting feelers out in Japan after the Olympics announcement, anticipating the legalizing of casinos that will surely follow.
Indeed, it is expected that casinos will be legal in Japan as early as November or December, paving the way for a tender process and the building of major casino resorts in Tokyo and Osaka in time for the Olympics.
With online casinos in Japan also illegal, gamblers often visit Pachinko Parlors, where they play the pinball like slots game. While they are not able to “cash out” their winnings, vendors who are officially not attached to the venue are usually on hand to swap the tokens for cash, making it a form of government sanctioned gambling.
With the Asian gambling market coming under consistent attention recently, it’s surely only a matter of time before Japan gets its own casinos, even if they’re only to keep Japanese gamblers in the country.