Back in June of 2018, lawmakers in Japan took an unprecedented step by legalizing casinos. It was a surprise to many, as almost all forms of gambling were previously banned here. Unfortunately, Japan’s casino launch has been pushed back due to concerns over gambling addiction issues.
Politicians in Japan are certainly taking their time. They want to ensure that enough regulations are set in place to avoid any long-term societal problems. Today, we’re going to look at exactly why Japan is pushing back casino plans. Later, we’ll talk about when the first casino is likely to begin operating here.
Why Did Japan Legalize Casinos?
Casino gambling is growing more popular all around Asia. For many years, Macau held all the chips when it came to gambling here. In recent years, however, a number of small countries have begun ramping up their casino operations.
The Philippines, in particular, has seen a massive increase in its casino revenue. Macau has seen an economic downturn over the past few years, and many high rollers are flocking to the Philippines to play their favorite casino games. Not long ago, it was reported that this country’s casino industry was growing faster than both Macau and Las Vegas.
Japan wants in on some of this revenue. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has voiced his support for casino gambling, stating that it will help to increase tourism and build economies outside of Tokyo.
Four casinos are eligible to host casinos. Companies have the opportunity to bid for their right to build and operate these gaming establishments. MGM seems to be the frontrunner for Japan’s casino launch, possibly in the city of Osaka.
Japan’s Casino Launch Is Taking Longer Than Anticipated
There was hope that, by this time, a number of companies would already have the green light to operate Japan’s first casinos. This is not the case. Politicians here are pushing back any efforts to move this process forward. This week, gaming regulators here are calling for new measures to better protect against problem gambling.
Moritoshi Kido, a researcher at Osaka’s University of Commerce, believes Japan is not doing enough to avoid the issue of gambling addiction. According to Kido, Japan is already dealing with a considerable problem gambling issue. He states that legalized pachinko parlors are causing this problem.
The fact that tight regulations surrounding casinos have not been established is not entirely surprising. Japan’s government does not plan on creating an official casino regulatory body until after the elections conclude this summer. Until these elections are complete, lawmakers will have almost no ability to finalize regulations on this industry.
It’s disappointing news for both gaming operators and casino fans in Japan. Companies will now need to come up with specific regulations that prove they can help stop gambling addicts from playing inside casinos. Perhaps the facial recognition software that lawmakers proposed earlier this year will help.
When Will Casinos Finally Be Operating in Japan?
No one really knows. It’s certainly going to be longer than initially expected. As we mentioned earlier, lawmakers here have worked hard to set tight regulations on this industry. They do not want to see the same high number of gambling addicts that countries like the UK currently hold.
Once this summer’s elections are complete, lawmakers can begin working on new restrictions. The formation of Japan’s casino regulatory body will also help.
Most feel that the first casino will not begin operating here until 2025. Experts claim that Japanese casinos will earn upwards of $20 billion every year. The potential earnings may push lawmakers here to expedite this process.
Japan’s casino launch is taking longer than expected. We will continue to provide updates on Japan’s casino industry as they come out.
Do you think Japan is setting too strict of casino regulations? When will the first casino begin operating here? Let us know in the comment section below!
A longtime sports and gambling enthusiast, Kevin looks to present up-to-date and reliable information for readers. If he’s not writing, he’s probably watching MMA or playing blackjack. ...
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