Until fairly recently, casinos were illegal in Japan. Even though the country has a rich history in the world of games of chance and skill, gambling is something that has always been considered illegal.
Lawmakers have however argued the fact that reviewing these strict laws could have a beneficial outcome on the country’s economy. Even though these discussions have been coming along for quite some time, the new law was only passed last year.
Here are some key facts you should know about the new casino legislation in Japan.
Integrated Casino Resorts
While it is still frowned upon and highly illegal to open up a casino just anywhere in Japan, the new legislation allows for integrated casino resorts. What this means, is that a framework within the law allows for resorts with a 3% floor space dedicated to casinos.
The law also states that international visitors will be able to enter the casino space for free, while locals will be subject to an entrance fee. This is to curb any possibility of problem gambling being developed.
Location of Resorts
Only three integrated casino resort licenses are allowed, and there has been a lot of interest from multiple locations spread over Japan. The first resort is expected to be located on Yumeshima, a small artificial island.
Others who are also showing interest include Tomakomai, Tokyo, Yokohama, Wakayama and Sasebo. The licenses will be valid for three years, after which it would have to be renewed every five years.
Japan Revitalizing Industry
Some people may question the fact that Japan could boost the casino industry. The answer, however, lies in the statistics. Japan attracts a lot of international visitors, and research shows a steady increase in visitors of up to 13% per year.
Japan has been on casino operators’ radar for quite some time, as they are of the opinion that the location can revitalize the gambling industry. With so many international visitors, the new integrated resorts are predicted to generate a lot of revenue for the country.
Key Role Players
Big casino operators from all over the world are rushing to this new opportunity and have already shown interest in opening shop in Japan. Some of the biggest names in Las Vegas are among companies having talks about being the first to open one of the integrated resorts.
But local companies in Japan are not to be left out of the equation. Sega Sammy Holdings together with Konami Holdings have declared that they are interested in collaborating to get these projects off the ground.
While the intention is to attract tourists, some researchers are of the opinion that the majority of resort visitors is set to be more than 50% of the Japanese population. This is, of course, the reason why some lawmakers were opposed to the law being passed.
International visitors are however the main target market for these new integrated resorts, and Japan aims to increase its revenue by taxes imposed on the resorts. We’ll have to wait and see how it plays out, and who ends up frequenting these sites.
The new legislation is something to be excited about for everyone involved. It will allow more than the current gambling law, which will enable locals to participate in punting at a brick-and-mortar site.