In Summer of 2018, lawmakers in Japan decided to legalize casino gambling in three different cities. For more than a year, officials in the country have been deciding which casino companies they want to allow into the country. This week, Mohegan Gaming unveiled plans for a new casino-resort in Hokkaido.
It’s no surprise to see Mohegan pushing for a Japan launch. This market is expected to be one of the most lucrative in the world. Let’s take a look at this Connecticut-based company’s plans, and discuss why they are pushing so hard to open in Hokkaido.
Japan’s Decision to Legalize Casino Gambling
For many years, Japan implemented some of the strictest gambling laws in Asia. The only real form of gambling allowed here was pachinko. As you might expect, millions of Japanese residents flocked to pachinko parlors every month.
Recently, a number of different countries in Asia have begun to open their casino markets. The Philippines has invested heavily into its casino industry, with a huge number of different casinos now spread throughout the country. The investments have paid off, and the Philippines now has one of the fastest-growing casino markets in the world.
Officials in Japan realized the potential for huge revenue earnings. Finally, lawmakers here decided to allow casinos in the country, albeit with some heavy regulations.
Only three casinos will operate here. Japanese citizens will have limits set on how many times they can visit their local casino every month. In order for a company to operate here, they must prove they have the funds and experience to run a fully integrated casino resort. This week, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment laid out one such plan.
Mohegan Gaming Unveils Plans for Hokkaido Casino
Many of the top US casino companies are pushing hard to break into Japan. According to analysts, this market could become the most lucrative in Asia. The Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts, and now Mohegan Gaming are releasing plans for their own integrated resorts.
Mohegan has just unveiled their new plans for a casino-resort in Hokkaido. The gambling and entertainment establishment will cost between $3.5 to $4.5 billion. The company expects to hire more than 5,000 people to work inside the casino.
This company laid out plans to construct three different hotel buildings. A conference hall and entertainment arena will also be built. The goal is to create a variety of different gaming and non-gaming options for visitors. Overall, it’s one of the most complete plans set forth by a US casino company working to enter Japan.
It’s important to note that Hokkaido has not yet filed an application to host an integrated casino-resort. Before Mohegan can obtain a license, this prefecture will need approval from the government.
What Other Companies Are Trying to Enter Japan?
As we mentioned earlier, many of the biggest gambling operators in the United States are trying to break into Japan. MGM Resorts, in particular, is pushing hard for an Osaka casino-resort. In May, this company partnered with Orix, a financial services group based in Osaka.
MGM appears to be the frontrunner to open the country’s first integrated resort. The Las Vegas Sands has also been pushing for a casino license here, while also investing heavily into its Macau operations.
Japan’s prefectures are waiting to submit their proposals for a casino. Once they do, government officials in the country will begin to hand out licenses to casino operators. Most experts claim the first licenses will be issued in the Spring of 2020.
Mohegan Gaming is emerging as a top choice to enter Hokkaido. Their plan includes most of what the government is looking for, and the company has a proven track record of operating successful casino-resorts. Stay tuned for more news on US casinos entering Japan in the future!