Japan is famous for being a conservative country, being one of the countries with the least number of gambling destinations. However, Japan is currently opening its doors to the joyous things that gambling has to offer.
In 2018, Japan finally became lenient with its gambling laws, agreeing to the building of land-based casinos in its land.
The IR Bill of Japan
On July 20, 2018, Japan's controversial IR bill got enacted to legalize the building of land-based casino resorts. The law first got caught up in the senate since many oppose its legalization due to possible gambling addictions. However, by the end of the day, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe finally signed the law making the long-wait of casino operators over.
Along with the IR Bill, Japan established several other organizations covering other regulations of the gambling industry. In January 2020, Japan established the Japan Casino Regulatory Commission to manage and regulate the land-based casino operations. Aside from the regulatory board, it is also responsible for the possible gambling addictions.
The Potentials and Cautions on the Gaming Industry
Since Japan's problems with the pachinko halls, it has been too cautious with the possibility of increasing the gambling addictions of its countrymen. Many Japanese became addicted to the pachinko halls throughout the years, and even Japanese criminals created underground pachinko halls, increasing the crime rate in Japan.
However, the Japanese government can’t ignore the potentials that the land-based casinos can give to its economy. The rapid increase of the gambling industry worldwide made it the second-largest market in the world.
Locations of the Casino Resorts
Japan sees the potential of Osaka as a leading candidate for being one of the locations to build the first three casino resorts in the country. In 2025, Osaka will host a World Expo proposing the building of the casinos in its artificial island, Yumeshima.
Other prefectures like Yokohama and Tokyo are also studying the possibility of housing the land-based casino resorts. Other interested prefectures are Tomakomai, Wakayama, and Sasebo.
There will be three licenses that would be available after the approval of the casino resorts. These licenses would be valid for ten years and renewed every five years. The government will then consider the other casino resorts seven years after the three other casino resorts get approved.
Operators of the Casino Resorts in Japan
Several US-based operators showed interest in the possibility of building the first three casinos in Japan. Vegas companies, MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment, already began to make few steps asking around about the possibility of being one of the operators. A Malaysian company, the Genting Group, also showed interest.