After the legalization of casinos in Japan, the battle to attract casino operators has happened amidst divided residents and business communities.
It is surprising to find out that although the lottery, horse racing, and slot machines are part of Japan’s daily life, casino gaming is illegal. The unmissable, Pachinko Japanese-style slot machines operate under a niche zone of arcade games for adults. It isn’t officially viewed as gambling.
However, last year, the country ended its ban on gambling by launching the “integrated resort promotion law” that welcomes bids from the world’s top casino companies to advance into Japan’s market. The bill will accredit gaming licenses to 3 locations with expectations which integrated resort mega facilities will be completed by the mid-2020s. Presently, Osaka city, Yokohama city, Wakayama, and Nagasaki prefecture have entered the race, which aggressively rallies for investors. Also considering joining the race is Tokyo city and Chiba, Hokkaido, and Aichi prefectures.
For the first time in history, the Japanese government is hoping to start a new industry of large scale Japanese style “integrated tourist resorts.” The phrase “integration resort” means a multipurpose facility which comprises of a hotel, casino, shopping centers, and conference halls. The success of the bill in the lower and upper house came after the emphasis on how tightly this industry would be regulated.
A casino administration committee with four members has been tasked to monitor integrated resort licensing requirements as well as ease public concern over the possible negative social impacts like gambling addiction. The casino area will be limited to 3% of the total floor area of the facility and measures will be taken to prevent addiction like limiting the number of local admissions.
International visitors are entitled to free entry while local residents will be charged $50 and restricted to only three visits per week. The casino admission fee that is collected by venues will be split between the government and prefectural councils.