It’s a pretty well-known fact that Asians, as a group, love to gamble, and even stuffy mainland China is starting to open land-based casinos, (albeit in baby steps), so it seems like it’s about time that Japan jumped on board the money train as well. After many years of stalemates in attempts to get some casinos built there, it now looks like that could change, at least if a group of pro-casino Japanese legislators have anything to say about it.
Liberal Democratic Party Head Leads the Way
A new political leader, Hiroyuki Hosada, has been made chairman of this pro-casino group; Hosada is a former chief cabinet secretary and remains a key member of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). It’s thought that with this kingpin, who has the ear of the country’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a new casino bill for Japan should have a better shot at passage than it has in years past, particularly as Abe has expressed pro-casino sentiments himself of late. Hosada is expected to submit the latest measure to parliament before the end of the year, according to the lobbying group’s deputy head, Takeshi Iwaya.
Integrated Resorts to Come
Following in the footsteps of many other Asian regions like Singapore and Vietnam, the plan is to map out some integrated resorts for Japan and get them bringing in new investment money. Given that Japan remains the third-largest economy worldwide, it seems obvious that there would be a market for brick-and-mortar casinos there as well. And no doubt eyeing the enormous financial success of their cousins Macau, Singapore and the Philippines has Japanese leaders chomping at the bit to create the same revenue stream for themselves.
Of course, like politicians everywhere, Prime Minister Abe wants to do a study first to make sure the economic benefits would be there (because no one has figured out that gambling works pretty much everywhere yet, apparently). The long-term goal would be to get at least two large-scale integrated casino-resorts on the drawing board in the near future and play some catch up. It’s said that the Japanese gaming market has a $10 billion annual revenue stream potential; why let your natives spend their money abroad when you can keep it at home?
We don’t think you really need a study to figure that one out.