The groundswell of movement from Japan’s Restoration Party towards bringing integrated resort casinos in Japan has gotten the attention of Morgan Stanley, so much so that the global financial services firm expressed optimism that a bill legalizing casinos in the Rising Sun could be passed before the end of year.
Analysts Praveen Choudhary and Mia Nagasaka wrote about the firm’s expectations in a report issued late last week. “Japan is the closest it has ever been to passing a bill legalizing casinos,” the two said before adding that should the time come that the green light is lit, the first integrated resort casinos could rise as early as 2019 or 2020.
Morgan Stanley’s proclamations come a week after opposition party Japan Restoration Party submitted a bill for legalizing casinos to the Diet, eschewing standard protocol by forming its own casino committee to push for the legalization of casinos in the country. The party did say that its intentions were solely on jumpstarting discussions that have had far too many delays from other parties. You can appreciate the aggressiveness by which the JRP is pushing for this legislation, something that Morgan Stanley must have paid careful attention to when it went it disclosed in its report its optimism that Japan’s government will pass a bill that would finally legalize land-based casinos in the country.
Should that time come, it wouldn’t be too hard to convince international casino operators from having interest in Japan. For one, the country is still Asia’s second-largest economy and despite still-to-be-resolved government issues, it could still potentially become one of the centers in the burgeoning Asian gambling market. As our very own Steven Stradbrooke pointed out last week, a study by the Osaka University of Commerce said that the potential worth of Japan’s land-based casinos could reach $44 billion annually, putting it in the stratosphere of Macau.
A number of operators have already expressed interest in putting up a casino in Japan. Mind you, these operators aren’t small up-starts looking to get traction in a premium market. These operators include Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts, and Universal Entertainment.