Lawmakers from the Japanese leading Democratic Party submitted a bill that will allow opening casinos in the country. Now Japan is one step closer to what is expected to become the world’s second largest gaming market. The bill will be examined during the next diet session that will take place in January.
If casinos are legalized in Japan, many international hotel and gaming operators will surely come to the country. Such giant as Wynn Resorts Ltd. has already mentioned they want to spend billions of dollars on building resorts in the country. According to estimation by Union Gaming Group, the annual gambling revenue of Japan is approximately US$10 billion.
Respectable Japanese experts think chances are the bill will pass because the Democratic Party supports it. Currently, casinos are banned in Japan, even though it is allowed to bet on horse, bicycle and boat races. Of course, the potential of the third-largest economy of the world is hard to overestimate. Still, even if casinos are legalized, it would take approximately five years to build and open the first casino.
This is the first time the casino legalization bill was submitted to the diet. The party still haven’t decided whether they are going to support the bill. However, the legalization issue has been discussed for more than ten years already. Now, when Tokyo will host the 2020 Olympics Games, the confidence is growing that the bill will pass. Such big players as Las Vegas Sands Corp., Caesars Entertainment Corp., MGM Resorts International, and SJM Holdings have expressed their interest in Japan’s gambling market. The same applies to large casino operators in Macau, the largest gambling hub in the world. Here Galaxy Entertainment Group plans to invest US$2.58 billion, and Melco Crown Entertainment ltd. plans to spend more than US$5 billion.