CASINO

Japan looking for some gaming pie

TAGs: Japan, las vegas sands, Laurence Ho, melco crown, sheldon adelson

Japanese flagCasino business dignitaries the world over are foaming at the mouth at the prospect of Japan legalizing casinos. Bloomberg reports that 150 lawmakers are planning to introduce a bill that will allow resorts that combine slot and gambling tables with hotels, shopping and restaurants. One member of the cross-party coalition of legislators, Takeshi Iwaya, said: “It would be an engine for fiscal revival and job creation that wouldn’t require raising taxes.”

Companies all round the globe are looking at this situation with Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson chief among them – and he feels like he has first dibs.

“We’ve been lobbying there for years. There’s no doubt that we’re the leading candidate,” he said before snatching back all his toys because he ain’t sharin’!

Melco Crown’s Laurence Ho earlier this week told of his company’s desire to enter a legalized Japanese or Taiwanese market and Steven Tight, president for international development Caesars Entertainment Corp, added:  “It’s a very attractive market. There just seems to be a very strong affinity to that sort of entertainment.”

Estimates by Ryosaku Sawa, an economics professor at Osaka University of Commerce put the size of the market at 3.4trillion yen ($44bn) back in 2009 and the tax revenue from a bill would be substantial. It’s hardly surprising that Japan moving towards legalization got their attention. It sits as one of the most economically stable countries in the largest gaming industry location on planet earth. With a technologically advanced nation like Japan getting on board the gaming industry bandwagon, the growth already experienced will be even more rapid. Issei Koga will introduce the bill in next month’s Diet session with no timescale set on when the bill will near completion.

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