Changes to Japanese gambling laws could still happen this year, as the parliament has passed a draft casino bill that would allow the building of casino resorts in the Far Eastern country. Despite concerns as to whether any bill would be passed before parliamentary recess begins on December 6th, the final bill has taken another step towards reality with this news.
There is still no certainty that a finalized bill will be passed this year, but it does show a greater urgency to talk about the future of land based and online casinos in Japan.
The draft bill has now been passed by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, but would still require approval of the junior coalition partner New Komeito, and this is where the uncertainty comes in. The party have not been as enthusiastic as their senior governmental partners in pushing through the bill, but the possible financial benefits could sway them.
Japan is eager to cash in on the earning potential of the 2020 Olympic Games, and the building of at least one giant casino resort in, or near, the capital Tokyo is seen as one of the best possibilities for large tax income. Land based casinos still hold sway in Asia, despite mobile casinos encroaching on their territory throughout Europe.
One of the reasons for this is the large number of high rollers, especially from China, where all forms of gambling outside of the state lottery are banned. As such, other Asian countries are planning on building new casinos to attract these gamers. Singapore, the Philippines, Australia, and even Russia are looking to draw punters away from Macau, which has grown into the biggest gambling resort in the world.
In Japan, however, the government are keen to ensure that any casino laws are watertight, so they can prevent the casinos from falling into the hands of organized crime groups.