In Japan, members of the Liberal Democratic political party of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (pictured) are reportedly set to propose legislation later this week that would allow for the licensing of up to six integrated casino resorts spread across the country.
According to a report from the Financial Times newspaper, the proposal comes as Japanese legislators continue to thrash out the specific rules to be included in the nation’s coming casino-legalizing Integrated Resort Implementation Bill but is likely to be opposed by most members of the ruling coalition Komeito political party.
Although most casino gambling is currently illegal in Japan, Liberal Democratic lawmakers with the support of 63-year-old Abe and their allies controversially ratified the enabling Integrated Resort Promotion Act in December of 2016. This piece of legislation via the realizing Integrated Resort Implementation Bill hopes to help attract foreign tourists by legalizing integrated casino resorts featuring hotels, shops and conference spaces at various locations around the island nation.
The Financial Times reported that Komeito lawmakers are likely counter the coming proposal by suggesting that only two integrated casino resorts be initially permitted under the Integrated Resort Implementation Bill in order allay over-supply and problem gambling concerns.
American casino giants including Las Vegas Sands Corporation, Caesars Entertainment Corporation and MGM Resorts International are reportedly hoping to be among the first to enter the Japanese market as it is expected to quickly become the world’s second most lucrative after Macau with annual revenues of around $15 billion. But, multiple analysts have purportedly suggested that this yearly amount could reach as high as $25 billion if the six venues are approved while the cities of Tomakomai and Osaka have already expressed a keen interest in serving as hosts after setting aside proposed sites.
The Financial Times explained that an enlarged Integrated Resort Implementation Bill could moreover see integrated casino resorts appear in Japanese cities such as Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagasaki and Fukuoka before the end of 2022 before reporting that Komeito politicians are likely to be lobbying hard this week for the number of eventual licenses to be kept below a maximum of three.