Japanese Government Remains Willing to Boost Country’s Economy Through Integrated Casino Resorts Despite Possible Opening Schedule Delay

With an increasing number of countries on a global scale trying to expand their gambling sectors both off- and online, the casino industry as a whole was on the rise.

In the last few years, one country has been making significant changes in terms of gambling. Japan is now trying to gradually ease its pretty stringent gambling laws. Recently, the country’s Government decided to take steps that would allow the East Asian nation to take advantage of the benefits that a gambling market expansion has to offer, with the legalization of so-called integrated casino resorts.

As the Japanese lawmakers have revealed, at first only three casino operating licenses will be granted, and the new luxurious casino, hospitality and entertainment complexes will be established in a similar style to the hotel-casino model that has already been successfully operating in large gambling hubs such as Las Vegas, Macau and Singapore.

So far, eight local governments have demonstrated interest in hosting integrated casino resorts. Inquiries for the addition of such resorts have been made by the Wakayama Prefecture, the Nagasaki Prefekture, the city of Osaka, as well as by the authorities in Yokohama, Tokyo, Hokkaido, Nagoya and Chiba. All of them have been willing to take advantage of the benefits that the addition of casino gambling to its legal market has to offer.

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Lately, the Japanese Government has been making preparations to establish integrated casino resorts that are expected to transform the nation’s gambling sector.

Gambling has been operating in a somehow grey zone on the territory of Japan but the Government has decided to make the sector more relaxed. It is now working on more liberal legislation, with the Integrated Resorts Bill being the piece of legislation under which the new hospitality, entertainment and gambling complexes are set to be established.

The introduction of the new integrated casino resorts is expected to create a serious gambling market on the territory of Japan, with the Government hoping that the sector would become competitive to iconic gambling hubs in the region, such as Macau and Singapore.

This year, part of the process for selecting casino host cities has been delayed first by a bribery scandal and then by the new coronavirus outbreak. At first, the Japanese Government had been planning to set a basic policy to determine some guidelines for cities that would compete for hosting an integrated casino resort but these plans have changed after the arrest of Tsukasa Akimoto, a lawmaker of the ruling party.

Mr. Akimoto, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party who had previously been in charge of the casino policy, was arrested in December 2019 following suspicion that he accepted bribes from a Chinese gambling operator looking to expand its international presence in the newly-liberalized casino sector of Japan. The arrest, however, has enhanced public opposition to the already controversial plans of the Government to allow casino gambling in the country.

The process has been delayed even more because of the coronavirus outbreak, so it now remains unknown whether the preliminary plans for opening the first casinos in the country would remain unchanged. The Government has previously revealed the goal of opening casinos in the mid-2020s at the earliest but the delay in the basic policy creation and the Covid-19 pandemic may affect this schedule.

Japanese Government Hopes That Addition of Integrated Casino Resorts Will Boost the Country’s Economy

One of the main reasons why the local lawmakers are so willing to take the plunge and add legal land-based casino services to the country’s gambling sector is the fact that such a step is expected to provide a considerable boost to the economy both for locally and nationally. The opening of large hospitality, entertainment and gambling complexes would not only mean that more jobs are to be created, but fresh money flow is expected to be created to boost Japan’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Considering the fact that Japan is naturally poor of resources, the country’s Government has been forced to become flexible enough to seek and find opportunities that would allow the country to generate money from everything I can. These efforts have resulted in eventually making Japan a leading force in automobiles, global electronics and technology. Now, the nation has shown willingness to keep pace with other highly-developed countries, so adding gambling to its market in an attempt to make its economic portfolio more diversified could hardly be surprising to anyone.

The rivalry with China has also been among the leading factors for the Japanese Government to consider the addition of casino gambling to its legal gambling sector.

On the other hand, Japan has been known for its closed society for years, with the country now starting to open up to foreign visitors. The establishment of three new integrated casino resorts would bring some of the largest international gambling companies to the country, with foreign visitors also expected to be attracted to the liberalized casino sector of Japan. In fact, the creation and operation of three integrated casino resorts would have a positive impact on the domestic, regional and international tourism in the country, as it happened in Singapore and Macau.