Fitch Ratings analysts believe Japan has a “50/50 chance” of passing their long-delayed casino legislation this year.
Japanese lawmakers reintroduced their casino study bill in April, but little has been heard of the issue since. Last week, Fitch suggested the bill had a coin-flip’s chance of coming up for a vote in Japan’s parliament this year. Assuming a positive vote is forthcoming, the next step would be passage of a second bill that would spell out the actual nuts and bolts of casino regulation and licensing.
Similar sentiments were expressed by Greenberg Traurig attorney Ryo Takizawa, who told GGRAsia it was “expected” that the study bill would meet with approval in the Diet this year. Assuming the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) can get its coalition partner Komeito to drop its moral objections to casino gambling, Takizawa said that the legislative process “will move forward relatively smoothly.”
Takizawa suggested the study bill’s follow-up legislation could be split into smaller, more manageable chunks, such as one bill “to regulate the criteria for choosing bids, granting licenses; another to implement an oversight body.” Another bill could deal with preventing and addressing “social problems.”
This last bit could be key, as Takizawa cautioned that the Japanese public remained skeptical on the wisdom of homegrown casino development. Takizawa believes popular support for casinos is “not yet very strong,” no doubt hampered by alarmist studies that claim 5% of the Japanese population is ‘addicted’ to gambling.
The LDP is believed to be promoting a plan that would see the development of two large-scale integrated resorts, most likely in Tokyo and Osaka. Analysts have projected these two venues could generate over $6b in annual gross gaming revenue, higher even than Singapore’s two insanely profitable IR’s.
Lord knows, the Japanese economy would welcome any wind beneath its wings. While showing signs of life in recent weeks, Japan has been mired in a two-decade-long slump that has spared precious few economic sectors. Case in point: the price of a blow-job in a Japanese ‘pink salon.’
According to local media outlet Takarajima, visitors to pink salons in Tokyo’s Otsuka red-light district can get their knob expertly polished by two ladies working in shifts for the low, low price of ¥2k (US $16). Other, more high-end facilities might charge as much as ¥10k, but for that price, customers also get a few alcoholic beverages thrown in. So pass the casino bill, legislators, which should give a boost to both tourism and the wages of Tokyo’s hardworking working girls.