International gambling operators have been lucky to understand that the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe and the Government passed a casino bill which would make casino gambling legal in the country.
For some time now, a total of two operating licenses have been rumoured to be initially approved, but the cabinet managed to ensure three casino integrated resorts, along with other measures that could make sure that the Japanese gambling industry is more favourable to customers. Now, the legislature of Japan has until June 20th to give a final approval of the proposed bill, while Prime Minister Abe is trying to push the piece of legislation for quicker approval.
The expansion of the Japanese gambling industry has attracted interest from foreign investors, despite the fact that the current estimates of the local casino market being lower than initially expected. At first, the country’s casino industry was estimated at approximately $40 billion, but market experts have now reduced this estimate to about $15 billion.
Still, the soon-to-be-open casino sector has been seen as a possibility for expansion for a number of casino behemoths, including MGM Resorts, Las Vegas Sands and Melco Resorts & Entertainment. The afore-mentioned companies have been known for their willingness to make investments worth at least $10 billion in case they are granted with one of the operating licenses.
Foreign Companies’ Investments Expected
As Casino Guardian has previously reported, the Abe administration is pushing hard for the casino legislation to be given the green light, with the chances of this happening being very good at this point.
As far as global gambling operators are concerned, the three companies mentioned above, have already reiterated their interest in setting foot in Japan if they manage to win operating licenses for integrated casino resorts.
Reportedly, Las Vegas Sands has been considering Osaka and Yokohama as potential sites for an integrated casino resort, despite the fact that the company has previously said that it would agree with any place it was given by the Government. The Chief Executive Officer of MGM Resorts, Jim Murren, has also confirmed the company’s interest towards possible expansion in Japan. MGM is currently considered one of the front-runners for a Japanese integrated casino resort license, although the company’s CEO has admitted that decisions are probably at least three years away. Last but not least, Melco Resorts & Entertainment has also demonstrated its interest towards opening an integrated resort on the territory of the country, with the company having developed special security measures to win the favour of country’s gaming regulators.
The opening of the Japanese casino market is expected to bring the country large investments from global gambling operators. The economic benefits of casino gambling have been considered by the cabinet, so the administrative body of the country is now expected to carry on with the planned expansion, with a little more than a month left until the end of the current Diet session.