In 2018, lawmakers in Japan officially approved a bill that legalizes casino gambling. It was a huge moment for the country, which had previously banned almost all forms of gambling. Officials here are still working to create a plan for the three casino-resorts to begin operating. Recently, Japan has begun to study the Las Vegas casino model for support.
Las Vegas is still considered the gold standard for the US casino industry. Here, most of the country’s top gambling venues are located. Let’s take a look at what Japan hopes to learn from this city.
Lawmakers in Japan Continue to Debate Over Regulations
For a time, it seemed as if Japan would never open up its casino industry. For decades, nearly all forms of gambling have been strictly prohibited in this country. Only mahjong, a tile-based skill game, allows individuals here to wager money.
It seems that the country’s lawmakers finally realized how much money they were missing out on. Nearby Macau is considered the biggest gambling hub in the world. Even the Philippines now operates a massively successful casino industry.
In July of 2018, Japan officially decided to legalize casino gambling. Under the current plan, three casino-resorts will be allowed to open in the country. Before this can happen, though, lawmakers are coming up with a set of regulations.
Government officials here want to ensure that rates of gambling addiction and crime do not increase once casinos are introduced. Today, a huge number of countries in Europe are dealing with rises in problem gambling. Several regulations have been introduced in Japan to avoid this, yet lawmakers are still debating exactly what should be allowed and what should not.
The first gambling venue will not begin operating in Japan for at least a couple more years. In the meantime, officials will be working to come up with an exact plan for the casino-resorts to get up and running.
Japan Looks at the Las Vegas Casino Model For Support
There is no better city to look for regulation over a casino market than Las Vegas. As we already mentioned, many of the world’s biggest and best casino-resorts are located here. Officials in the city have decades of experience monitoring and taxing casino-resorts.
Recently, several officials in the Japanese casino industry have begun asking for help from Las Vegas gaming regulators. Not long ago, these officials invited Becky Harris to speak on effective casino regulation. Harris recently spoke with the Las Vegas Review-Journal about her experience in the country.
“Japan is still working on creating their regulatory environment, so there’s a lot of speculation as to what that could look like,” Harris said. “One of the models that Japan is looking at is Nevada, so there were some questions about the way that Nevada regulations work.”
Macquarie analyst Chad Beynon claims that Japan is looking to implement similar measures that Las Vegas currently has. Not everything will be applicable in Japan, yet the Las Vegas casino model should provide a solid regulatory outline.
Analysts Continue to Expect a Bright Future For Japan’s Casino Industry
Almost immediately after the news broke of Japan’s legalization of casino gambling, analysts began predicting how profitable the market would become. New reports indicate that it will grow to become the third-largest casino market in the world. Some even claim it will generate $25 billion annually.
Unsurprisingly, a huge number of major US casino operators are attempting to break into this market. MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts, and Las Vegas Sands have all expressed a desire to break into Japan.
Interestingly, Caesars Entertainment claims that it’s no longer interested in entering Japan. The company is set to merge with Eldorado Resorts. It seems highly unlikely that a move into Japan is even possible for Caesars right now.
Officials are still waiting to choose which three companies will be granted a casino license here. Based on what’s being said, both MGM Resorts International and Las Vegas Sands seem the most likely.
We’ll need to wait and see how much the Las Vegas casino model influences Japan. Make sure to stay tuned for more updates over the next few weeks!