Possible winner of the Japanese casino license
After the ruling coalition of Japan introduced in parliament a bill on the regulation of casino-resorts, the leaders of six global operators gathered in Osaka, one of the cities that is most likely to be chosen for the development of the casino industry.
All six companies - Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, Galaxy Entertainment Group, Melco Resorts & Entertainment and Genting Singapore - communicated with regional authorities and potential business partners.
According to analysts, favorite in the fight for three gambling licenses in Japan - Las Vegas Sands. Asian companies also showed extreme interest. Lawrence Ho, CEO of Melco, recently reported that his company refused most of the investment in a Russian casino-resort for the sake of a Japanese license.
Now for casino operators, the application for a license in Japan is a top priority. The company Genting Singapore in 2017 sold its share in a casino in South Korea worth $ 1.8 billion to fully focus on the Japanese project.
Nevertheless, there are fears that gambling in Japan may lead to deplorable consequences. Non-governmental organizations, like civilian lobby groups, are strongly opposed to gambling because of the possible spread of gambling addiction, most of the gamblers in Japan already suffer from gambling addiction regarding pachinko machines. Therefore, the profile bill, which is under consideration in the parliament, includes measures to address problems related to gambling, and is aimed at creating conditions for responsible play.
Japanese casino sector will "overtake" the Las Vegas gambling industry
Masaru Sugiyama, vice president for global investment research at Goldman Sachs Japan, estimates Japan's potential gross from gambling profit at 1.75 trillion yen ($ 15.8 billion) per year, provided that three major regions - Tokyo, Osaka and Hokkaido - will be selected as locations for the construction of gambling facilities.
According to Rory Creedland, the event director for gaming at Clarion Events, Japan is one of the three most attractive regions in the world along with Brazil and India. The location near China and the recent sharp increase in the flow of Chinese tourists mean that Japanese casino operators have the potential to attract tourists from mainland of China to Japanese casino resorts.