Japan likely to see first casino resort in 2023, analysts say

Japan likely to see first casino resort in 2023, analysts say

Don’t expect temporary casinos to sprout in Japan, which is on the verge of legalizing the long-stalled casino gambling bill in the country, any time soon.

If all goes to plan, meaning the IR Promotion bill is approved by Japan’s parliament before the current session ends on December 14, the first Japanese casino resort could be opening its doors in 2023, according to analysts at brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd.

“The first casino likely would not open until 2023 (we would not envision temporary casinos being authorized as has occurred in some U.S. regional markets,” said analysts Vitaly Umansky, Zhen Gong and Yang Xie in a note, according to GGRAsia.

Last week, the House of Representatives Cabinet committee passed the IR Promotion bill, which seeks to amend Japan’s constitution to remove a prohibition on casino gambling. The bill, which was introduced in December 2013, pushed through the Diet in two days after a little over six hours of discussion, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

Now, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is hoping to bring the IR bill up for a plenary session vote in the House of Representatives on December 6. If that legislative hurdle is cleared, the legislature’s upper chamber would then face a similar vote, which must take place before the Diet’s current session ends on December 14.

Legalizing casino gambling in Japan will take the form of two bills: the first is the IR Promotion bill, which will essentially decriminalize casino-style gaming. This will be followed by a second bill, the IR Implementation bill, which will contain all of the necessary details so potential developers can assess their strategies.

“The further legislation would need to be fully drafted and debated in 2017 (or could slip into 2018 depending on scope, debate and other pressing matters). After legislation is passed and regulations are developed, the selection process would occur,” the Sanford Bernstein analysts said.

So far, international casino operators Hard Rock Café International, MGM Resorts International and Las Vegas Sands have expressed interest in getting a casino license in Japan. Melco Crown Entertainment and Genting Singapore have also signaled a possible “run at a Japan IR license.” On the home front, there are two top contenders for the Tokyo and Osaka licenses: gaming mogul Kazuo Okada’s Universal Entertainment as well as Sega Sammy, which is set to open the Paradise City in Incheon, South Korea.

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December 6, 2016: posted in News And Reviews No Comments

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