A bill is waiting to be passed in order to legalize gambling in Japan.
Since last year the Japanese congress should have been busy preparing the groundwork for casino industry investors to move in. This bill would have enabled Las Vegas-focused companies including Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts to move in and construct casino resorts. According to analysts, if the investors get their way Japan would become the second-highest revenue-earning gambling hub in the world, just behind Macau.
Then summer ended. So did the legislative session. The bill wasn’t presented, even after supposedly lengthy discussions where Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he sees casinos “as one part of a broader tourism industry that will help it become an economic pillar of Japan”. He had paid a visit to Singapore and was quite hopeful that the same model of integrated resorts be used in Singapore, could be used in Japan.
Is the Japanese congress bluffing?
According to Japanese gambling news, those in support of the bill including some lawmakers,and the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe then announced that the bill would be presented in the fall 2014. Investors remained patient. Waiting in the shadows to be granted at least four gambling licenses. But then what took place in the summer was reiterated in the fall of 2014. No bill. No licenses. Nothing.
Speculations are that the lawmakers may be just giving an impression that they are determined to get a bill out and voted on this year, which should be right about now. So L.A. Casino investors are left holding their breath. They are hoping against hope that the legislators won’t tarry. However the speculations are that if the bill isn’t passed by this fall then L.A. casino-industry investors may have to call it quits.
Pachinko – a game which generates action of gambling minus the illegality of playing directly for money.
What many don’t understand is why the delay. After all, gambling in Japan is nothing new. Japanese already play the popular Pachinko, a game in which gamblers play arcade-style games and win prizes, is already popular there. But under Japanese gambling lawsthis is not considered gambling. However most players who win prizes go to specified shops to exchange their prize for money.
Moreover, those Japanese who do want to gamble legally, they can enjoy sports betting in Malaysia or head on over to gambling hubs in Macau and Singapore. In Singapore, the picturesque casino, Marina Bay Sands built by Las Vegas Sands has become a symbol of success. So that’s a market share that Japanese is missing out on. This would increase revenues as will the the Olympics in 2020.
According to some analysts in Japan the gambling market may generate as much as $40 billion in a couple of years shortly after legalization, if ever it is. Legislators in Japan who are pushing for the bill to go through apparently understand how important it is to combine the 2020 Olympic games and to have the integrated casino resorts in place by that time.
This means that the bill needs to be passed sooner than later. On the other hand legislators against gambling think if gambling is allowed then gambling addictions and overspending on casino games would take its toll on ordinary Japanese families, and would encourage all other vices linked to gambling and casinos.
Japanese anti-gambling legislators wary of corruption issues arising as is linked Macau
Japanese government certainly don’t want to end up dealing with the hassles of illegal money laundering and corruption associated with gambling, as is the case in mainland China and Macau. Chinese co- President Xi Jinxing, is trying to curtail corruption. He has implemented harsh measures to discourage high rollers and government officials from carrying out shady practices. They apparently deal with the middlemen or junket operators, who provide credit and transportation to Chinese high rollers, between mainland China and Macau.
If gambling is legalized, , Sands is ready to take a gamble “We will spend whatever it takes” said CEO Sheldon Adelson. For if Japan legalizes gambling, allowing casino icons to move in then integrated resorts would mean a major development for these companies, proving to be profitable for shareholders.