After well over a decade of talks, arguments and indecision, December 2016 proved to be a landmark moment for gambling in Japan, when the long-awaited casino bill was finally passed. Although it’s still not believed that land based casinos will be in operation until 2022, investors have already recognised the impact this could have on the economy.
Given the population of Japan and the growth prospect in this aspect of the industry, the casino market is expected to be worth around $40bn in Japan. With that in mind, a Japanese Gaming Congress was called in May to identify plans for the future.
What was the previous legislation?
Even though casino laws have recently been approved, that won’t signify the start of gambling in Japan. Bets have been accepted on a variety of sporting events, which include boat racing, cycling as well as horse racing.
Furthermore, players could play at pachinko parlors, which are extremely popular. They offer a pinball-type game, which would reflect the role of slots in Western casinos. However, when you won, instead of receiving cash, players would earn prizes and tokens. To highlight the ambiguity of the situation, those tokens could then be redeemed for cash at certain places away from the casino!
Japan can become a gambling hotspot
Given that the law has only recently passed, there are a lot of the finer details that need to be finalised, all of which will interest the Japanese public. Research suggested many were against the law, given the adverse impact that excessive gambling can have on communities and individuals. The poll by a local broadcaster suggested 44% opposed casinos, whilst just 12% were in favour of them.
However, with the economical benefits and freedom of choice for people, those concerns were overlooked, and it could lead to Japan becoming the centre of gambling in Asia. To emphasise that potential, there have already been enquiries from the biggest international gaming companies in the world. Wynn Resorts, MGM International and Caesars Entertainment who are all prominent in Las Vegas, are considering investment. The CEO of MGM revealed that they could invest as much as $10bn into any projects in Japan!
Representatives from those companies were at the Gaming Congress, which looked at issues ranging from how to tackle gambling problems, to trying to find the ideal locations for any prospective resorts.
All of this suggests that gambling in Japan is going to play a significant role in the future of the country. With time to clarify the laws and ensure that the sufficient levels of investment are introduced, we can expect Japan to be a major gambling nation in not only Asia but across the globe. In the meantime, you can enjoy the fun of the casino with Lucky Nugget Casino online, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated with any future developments in Japan down the line.