Casino Gambling Breakthrough In Japan
Japan passed breakthrough legislation in July that paved the way for the legalization of casino gambling in the country, as long as the casino is part of an integrated resort.
Caesars, which only recovered from bankruptcy protection at the tail end of last year, is one of the growing list of multinational gambling companies that are interested in establishing themselves in Japan, one of Asia’s largest untouched gambling markets.
The legislation has not gone unnoticed by online operators, who continue to monitor the softening of gambling sentiment.
Caesars president of international development, Steven Tight, has identified Okinawa in particular as a potential site for an integrated casino resort. The tropical islands are already a popular tourist destination and would provide an instant market for a potential casino.
Each location that has been identified has a tailored proposal for an integrated casino resort.
- A Hokkaido resort would have a forest location with lavish camping facilities.
- Osaka, famed for its medical technology and pharmaceutical industry, would be promoted as a medical tourism destination.
- A Yokohama integrated resort would feature a unique wave design of its hotel and convention centre to highlight its location in the active Pacific Ocean port city.
Caesars One Of Many
Caesars is one of several multinational casino operators that are aiming to be selected in the first round of licensing by local governments in Japan.
The government in Yokohama has revealed that it has received 12 proposals for integrated casino resorts, with eight of those being submitted by foreign-based multinational casino operators.
Proposals for casino resorts were received from the Hong Kong casino operator Melco Resorts and Entertainment and from the Las Vegas-based trio of Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts International, and Caesars Entertainment.
Gambling industry experts have identified 2024 or 2025 as the earliest date for Japan’s integrated casino resorts to open their doors.
The central government of Japan has plans to create a designated government body to oversee casino regulation in 2019.
Local governments in Japan have a deadline of December 2019 to choose from submitted proposals for integrated casino resorts. The central government will select from those chosen proposals and grant licenses for three integrated casino resorts in 2020.
It is possible that online operations could have access to the market before the bricks and mortar sites are open.