Gambling in Japan
Currently, if you want to travel to the East and fancy a flutter you will have to head to Macau, which is fast becoming a mecca for gamblers – so much so that it’s takings last year far exceeded those made in the US in 2014.
The Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau revealed that the Chinese city took 34 billion euros in 2013 from just 36 casinos. This compares to the 27.5 billion euros which America managed to coin in from its 12,000 betting outlets. But Macau’s dominance could change if a deal to build a mega-casino resort in the Japanese city of Osaka goes ahead.
Caesars Entertainment, Genting Singapore and MGM Resorts International are hoping to broker a deal that could prove extremely lucrative in the long-run. The resort would cost an eye-watering 3.5 billion euros to build, but there is still the small matter of legalising gambling in Osaka before any plans can be realised. Osaka prefecture governor Ichiro Matsui seemed confident that the Japanese city would be granted the right to gamble.
“It’s just a matter of time before casinos are legalised.,” he said.
“Osaka is crafting details of the resort plan so that we could embark on the project at any time”.
Mr Matsui did concede that the city would need the backing of “global casino operators … as the business is new to Japan”. In 2012, a report by CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets and Credit Agricole Securities suggested that the Japanese market for gambling could prove very lucrative indeed. The study, entitled ‘Asia’s wonderland – integrated resorts bring the magic to Japan’, suggested that revenues from gaming could be significant. Authors of the report stated: “In light of Macau and Singapore’s success, we believe the Japanese market offers huge potential to become the biggest integrated resort nation globally.
“Assuming two large scale integrated resorts are approved in Tokyo and Osaka with a similar industry framework as that of Singapore, gaming revenue could comfortably exceed 7.3 billion euros.”