Mitsui Fudosan Co., Japan’s largest property developer, is joining forces with Fuji Media Holdings and builder Kajima Corp. for what is possibly the country’s first casino and resort complex to be built in time for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. Casino gambling is illegal in Japan – the nearest form of gambling is pachinko, which in itself is a US$200-billion-dollar industry – but after more than a decade of lobbying by lawmakers, a bill to legalize casino gambling is seen to have a decent chance of passing next year, with the business-friendly Liberal Democratic Party in power and after Tokyo won the bid to host the 2020 Olympics.
The three firms are planning to build a resort complex in Odaiba, near the Tokyo Bay, that includes a hotel, conference center and a casino, this revealed by Mitsui Fudosan said at a briefing earlier this week. “Our role in this project would be to get involved and make a contribution to help Tokyo become a more attractive city,” said Masatoshi Satou, Mitsui Fudosan’s executive managing officer. “But it is totally up to what happens to the bill and the direction of the government.” The life and progress of this plan hinges very much on the passage of the law on gambling and Tokyo being chosen to host a casino. Japan’s biggest city is seen as a prime location for an integrated resort, but there will be competition from more than a dozen other locations across the country. Mitsui Fudosan, Fuji Media and Kajima all declined to give further details on the project, but they said that they had already submitted a proposal to the government to develop a casino resort as part of a special economic zone.
If such a law passes and casinos are allowed in Japan – home to the world’s third-largest economy – industry estimates on the gambling revenue show that Japan could potentially beat Las Vegas and Singapore. Japan has been touted as the next major casino market, after China hit the proverbial jackpot with Macau, currently the world’s biggest gambling hub. Analysts say that the variables are very much ideal in Japan, with a large and wealthy population, coupled with a proximity to Shanghai and Beijing – all pointing to a profitable future if Japan is transformed into a lucrative gambling center, even helping boost the country’s economy by providing tax revenues.
Comments Off on JDP Startup Corner: Pros & Cons of Working with a Partner in Japan