Japan urges legalisation

Casino legislation in Japan has been delayed again, but authorities urge a resolution.

Japan.- Last week, Japanese legislators made clear that casino legalisation is not a priority in the country, as the debate on the Casino IR Introduction Bill was postponed once again. However, members of CLSA, the most relevant brokerage and investment group in the Asian continent, suggested that the legalisation should be treated “nor or never.”

As revealed during the delay, casino legalisation could enter into force by 2018 or 2019 if it is approved in 2017. The time would be perfect to receive huge influx of visitors during the 2020 international Olympic Games. Leading companies in the casino and gaming markets, such as Konami, MGM, Hard Rock, Genting, Sega Sammy and Sands Corporation are interested in boosting the local market, which shows great potential.

CLSA analysts Jon Oh and Jay Defibaugh expect Japanese legislators to begin attending the debate by the second week of December. According to their calculations, the Gross Gaming Revenue would exceed US$10 billion from the get-go countrywide. However, they consider that the law would not be implemented by late 2023, after the Japanese Olympics.

Japan’s existing gambling market is already US$27 billion in GGR, mainly pachinko. Thus we believe that Japan’s gaming market could easily exceed US$10 billion in GGR for the metropolitan city IRs alone, with a potential to exceed US$30 billion upon full completion of the regional roll-outs. Yokohama (adjacent to Tokyo) and Yumeshima (adjacent to Osaka) metropolitans are the most likely locations, in our view,” they commented.