Japan could see its first casinos within five years time, that is if the government’s move to legalise it is successful.
A report by The Wall Street Journal has revealed that a cross-party coalition of 150 lawmakers are in support of legalising gambling in Japan, and have given their backing to legislation that could see the first ever casinos built on the sushi isles. The report makes it clear that the country’s government feels the move has been partly driven by the search for new industries which could help push the country out of its economic slump. Gambling interests in America have also helped push the proposal.
Japan only has to look across the Sea of Japan to China and Singapore, where cities like Macau are booming multi-billion dollar industries. If Japan decides to follow suit like its neighbors, think of what it could achieve. The Wall street report maintains it is estimated that Japan’s gaming industry could be worth between $10 billion and $44 billion – plenty more than the dwindling revenues of Las Vegas.
Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker, Takeshi Iwaya, said legalising gambling in Japanese lands would “help promote tourism, encourage business, create jobs, and boost local development”.
“Neighbouring areas are contemplating similar plans, so if we don’t hurry, we may risk missing out on a big opportunity,” he added.
So when will the bill be put forward? Even though it was first thought unlikely, it is understood via leaders of the cross-party group that this time may well be before the current parliamentary session comes to an end in June. But until that very time, we shall wait with baited breath as no official announcements have been made.
If it is approved, however, reports state it could be as soon as two years before gambling is actually legalised and then it would be no more than another three before the first casinos open their doors.