As Tokyo was granted the International Olympic Committee’s green light to host the Summer Games in 2020, legislators who support the legalization of gambling in Japan are probably even more delighted, given the potential of the gaming industry in the country. These lawmakers are set to submit a bill on the next legislative session in another attempt to have their proposal passed by next year.
Many have predicted Japan to becoming a haven, next to Macau in the gaming industry. Tycoons from Australia and the United States have already made proposals for investments in Japan and are just waiting for the green light. Nevada based Wynn Resorts Ltd. said on Tuesday that it may set more than $4 billion of investments on casino resorts in the country. MGM Resorts International, which is also based in Nevada, has also considered investing several billion dollars in Japan. The Melbourne based Crown Casino has also shown interest in setting up shop in the country. Its owner even claimed that Japan could be the “second-biggest gaming market in the world.”
According to Bloomberg Industries analyst Tim Craighead, “Japan could benefit from both its proximity to China and their appetite for VIP and mass-market gaming and luxury shopping, and being a business center with huge convention possibilities.” But until the bill is approved, these expected potentials are just that.Once approved, it is believed that the first casino resort in Japan may open a year before the Tokyo Olympics.
Although some people hope to have casinos become legal in Japan, with Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose even considering to prepare an “integrated resort facility that combines restaurants, theaters and casinos,” there are also many who are wary of its effect. It is given that the legalization of casinos and other forms of gambling will bring in a revamp of the economy. But many fear that it might also open doors for corruption and money laundering, among a list of possible crimes, not to mention the possible involvement of organized crime.
[via Finance Commerce]
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