Japan gaming market still elusive

Japan gaming market still elusive

May 15, 2018 3:00 AM


Global casino operators continue a waiting game in hopes of gaining access to a lucrative casino/resort market in Japan. The cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has now passed a casino bill that would legalize casino gambling in the country and allows for three casino/resorts instead of just two.

Japan’s legislature adjourns on June 20 and the prime minister is pushing for the Diet to take up and approve the bill.

Among the bill’s provisions are:

• 30 percent tax on gross casino revenues.

• $55 casino entrance fee for Japanese citizens (tourists can enter free).

• Limiting Japanese citizens to three casino visits a week, or 10 per month (no limits on tourists).

• Capping casino space at three percent of an integrated resort’s total square footage.

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The Japanese casino/resort market is projected to be worth anywhere from $15 to $40 billion. The three Las Vegas-based global operators currently in Macau, Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts, as well as many others not currently in Macau, including Hard Rock International and Caesars, have all expressed a desire to gain entry into the Japanese market should it become available.