The prospective passing of the gambling bill in Japan attracts more and more people, who are taking casino dealers’ lessons hoping for a brighter future.
One such example comes from Taichi Yahagi who is currently a tutor, but also decided to take part in a three-month course at the Japan Casino School paying around $5,000.
The reason for this decision comes in the right moment as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is currently pushing for the introduction of gambling legislation, which will allow casinos prior the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Yahagi commented: “I probably wouldn’t have enrolled in the casino school unless the Olympics were coming. We need foreigners to visit for the games and spend money at casinos. Otherwise, Japan’s economy won’t pick up at all.”
Following the Asian casino example
More and more Japanese are training to become casino dealers as the possibility for legalizing gambling in the country is quite realistic
• PM Abe is strong supporter of the legislation
• The aim is to be have casinos ready before the 2020 Olympics
• The flourishing Asian casino market might soon have new member
Mizuho Securities Co. stated that Abe’s attempt to pass the new Japanese gambling law is considered by various foreign investors as his way of trying to revive the economy, as the money from gambling will definitely improve the current situation.
Takeshi Iwaya, lawmaker from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party commented that even brining the bill to the Diet is a big success as the battle to legalize gambling was going on for around ten years already.
When Japan casino bill is passed it will set the framework of the law as well as any additional rulings regarding the issue and from experience in other Asian countries where gambling is legal, it is obvious that the Prime Minister has a lot to win or lose for the country.
Macau’s example shows that casinos there brought $45 billion in revenue in 2013, which was seven times more than the profit of the Las Vegas casinos, according to Bloomberg. In addition to the revenue, figures show that Asian casinos employ extraordinary number of people, which is another advantage of the industry.
PM Abe said for Kyodo News report: “Integrated resorts will be a key feature in our growth strategy and consideration should proceed from the standpoint of how to best draw visitors from across the world,” during his visit in Singaporean casinos.
He explained that he is aiming at bringing three times more tourists and reach the number of 30 million by 2030.
CLSA Ltd. reported that Japan’s casino market has the potential to be worth $40 billion, which is supported by the declaration made by MGM and LVS, which announced that are willing to invest as much as $10 billion each in Japan’s casinos.
Eiji Kinouchi, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities Co. commented that if all goes well, casinos may open their doors in Japan before the Olympics.
Koichi Hagiuda, lawmaker from the LDP, added for the gambling news: “We have six more years. We should make efforts to make it happen in time.”
Kazuaki Sasaki, assistant professor at Nihon University College of Economics in Tokyo explained that the efforts from the past to legalize casino industry didn’t materialize due to the fact that this business is usually associated with problem gambling.
Sasaki said: “Many studies on casinos’ ties with organized crime and gambling addiction will now be conducted. Only research can quell the opposition.”
The Health Ministry in Japan initiated study in 2008, which showed that around one in 10 adult men are addicted to gambling. As betting on horses, cycling and boating is legal, there is still choice and opportunities to gamble despite the lack of casinos.
Kiyohito Wada, attorney and member of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations expressed disagreement with the legalization of gambling, pointing to the consequences if the bill passes, which have to be covered by taxpayers: “Supporters tend to separate the social costs, but when you take them into account, they will be huge.”
Masatoshi Kikuchi, chief equity strategist at Mizuho Securities, explained that apart from raising the price of the gaming stocks, there will be much broader impact on the economy in addition to the interest of foreign investors in the region: “We’ve got to start building casinos soon, or we won’t make it in time for the Olympics.”