This week, the Metropolitan Government of Tokyo have announced that they’ve chosen a consulting firm, Deloitte, to undertake what’s been labelled an ‘Integrated Resort impact study’.
In essence, a report which will seek to examine the impact of a potential casino resort in the city (known in Japan as ‘integrated resorts’).
The impact study will look at a range of factors: social, economic and otherwise. The likely impact of gambling addiction is bound to be a hot-button issue, as it’s a consistent theme of public policy discussion and debate in Japan whenever the idea of building a casino is raised.
Social policy has often been implemented to prevent what’s often seen as a debilitating and fairly widespread problem, particularly among relatively well-off members of the middle class.
In this case, reports indicate that Deloitte was the only bidder for the work, with a tender priced at nearly 8 million yen (or approximately $70,000).
The consulting giant has broad experience tackling impact reports, so seem a suitable candidate to undertake the job.
The report will have to be thorough and comprehensive to satisfy public officials at the Tokyo Bureau of Port and Harbour, who have commissioned four similar in-depth case studies over the last four years.
The Japanese parliament passed legislation (‘The Integrated Resorts Implementation Act’) back in July which would feasibly allow up to three resorts to be built and commence operations, under an allocated first stage of a market liberalisation program.
There are a number of cities in contention for the first wave of casinos: Tokyo, Osaka and Yokohama are among the most likely.
Sources familiar with the situation have indicated that given the complexity of the reports expected, any initial gambling locations based in Japan are not likely to open until at least 2026.
That’s a long time to wait for the giants of the gambling industry itching to get a foothold into the untapped potential of the Japanese casino market.
Investment analysts and specialists have estimated the potential size of this market could be staggeringly large, leading to intense interest from several worldwide casino companies.