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Who Will Win the Race to Open a Casino in Japan?

Personal_Finance / Gambling Oct 13, 2020 - 12:28 PM GMT

By: Dylan_Moran


For decades, some in Japan have been pushing the government to allow for casinos to operate on its territory. One of the biggest supporters of this campaign has been Sheldon Adelson, the owner of the famous Las Vegas Sands Corporation.

Since the early 2000s, Adelson has been lobbying influential figures in the country to demonstrate to them the value that a casino could have in the country.

Having opened the famous Marina Bay Sands, an integrated resort in Singapore, Adelson believes a similar venture in Japan would be the “holy grail” for a casino operator. The American businessman put his money where is mouth is too, investing heavily in a bid to open an integrated resort in Tokyo.

After the Japanese Diet (parliament) passed legislation in the summer of 2018 that would allow for a small number of casinos to be built in Japanese cities, a bidding process began to find suitable locations and operators.

What about online casino games

While the new law allows physical casinos to be opened in Japan, the country does not look set to be ready to allow Casino Online Games to be played by its citizens.

The country has some of the strictest betting laws in the world, though some hope that the move to open physical casinos could eventually lead to online casinos being permitted as well.

Withdrawal of Las Vegas Sands

The Las Vegas Sands Corporation was one of the bidders and was widely tipped to be one of the companies who would eventually be granted a license.

However, Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corporation withdrew its bid earlier this year. In a statement given to the press, the company said that it felt that “technicalities” around how Japan’s casinos would be regulated meant that it would not be possible for the company to achieve its goals in the country.

Who will win the race?

In addition to the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, many other big names in the casino industry have been involved in the bidding process. This includes Genting Group, Galaxy Entertainment, Wynn Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts and Melco Resorts, most of whom are heavily involved in other major casino operations like in Las Vegas and Macau.

Yokohama, Japan’s second-biggest city has said it has received proposals from 12 different companies, though Las Vegas Sands had not been one of them. Instead, it was focusing on the capital, Tokyo.

Osaka, another Japanese city has been targetted by MGM Resorts, with the company spending a lot of money on advertising and sponsorship in the country to help make its name more recognisable.

The outcome of the bidding process will not be known for several more months, with officials expected to begin reviewing the bids early in the new year. We won’t likely know the outcome until later in 2021.

Even when this is complete, construction will not likely begin for several months and years afterwards, so a Japanese casino is some way off yet.

By Dylan M.

© 2020 Copyright Dylan M. - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

© 2005-2019 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

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