Japan’s government approved a bill to legalize casino gambling more than two years ago. Unfortunately, it’s taken much longer to get this country’s gaming industry off the ground than most initially predicted. New reports indicate that the casino plans in Japan are now being put on hold once again.
It’s disappointing, albeit not very surprising news. Japan clearly has more important things to focus on right now. Today, we’re going to take a look at what this new delay means for the country’s gambling industry moving forward.
Let’s get into it!
Asia’s Casino Industry Has Been Slow to Recover
We’ve been covering the news of what’s happening with Macau’s casino industry for years. Prior to 2020, most of the focus was on China’s economy. As the Mainland’s economy slowed down, fewer gamblers here were making the trip to Macau.
This was taking a serious toll on Macau’s economy. Junket operations here were losing money and many were forced to move into different countries. Several major US casino companies with property here felt the effects of this, as well.
Things have gotten considerably worse here in 2020. For a time, the casinos in Macau were shut down. It didn’t take long to reopen, yet travel restrictions made it almost impossible for anyone to enter and gamble in the city. Even now, gambling revenue and tourism rates are very low in Macau.
All of the different casino industries throughout Asia have been impacted this year. That includes the ones in the Philippines and Cambodia. No one seems to know when things will return to normal, as well.
Japan was expected to have a casino industry up and running by now. For a number of reasons, that has not turned out to be the case. It now seems that it will be years before any casino-resorts open their doors here.
What does that mean for the potential casino companies investing here?
Here’s What’s Happening With the Casino Plans in Japan
For decades, Japan has been known for its tough laws towards gambling. Nearly all traditional forms of wagering have been prohibited here for years. That’s why it was so surprising to hear that casino gambling was legalized here in 2018.
That doesn’t mean that casinos instantly began popping up around the country, though. Under the current law, only three casino-resorts will be able to open in the country. The country will eventually choose which casino companies to offer casino licenses to.
Most felt that this process would be completed by now. Unfortunately, very little progress has been made on this front so far. As time has gone on, more US casino companies initially interested in breaking into this country have started backing out.
It now seems that the casino plans in Japan are being delayed once again. News has just come out that the government will now wait until at least next fall to begin issuing casino licenses. That seems to indicate that the first casino will not open in this state until sometime in the mid-2020s.
Yokohama, Osaka, and Nagasaki seem to be the most-likely cities to open casinos. Japan’s population seems torn on whether or not this will be beneficial to the country. Even some of Japan’s leaders are now torn on this idea, as well.
These continuous delays are having a serious effect. It now looks like US casino companies are getting more wary of entering into this new casino market.
More US Casino Companies Back Out of Japan
The news that Japan was legalizing casino-resorts spread like wildfire. Analysts quickly predicted that this would grow to become one of the largest casino markets on the planet. Obviously, nearly all major US casino companies announced they planned to enter into Japan.
That has changed over the past two years. Japan eventually revealed the tax rate being placed on casino-resorts in the country. It was significantly higher than most predicted and some of these companies immediately backed out.
Those that have stuck around are getting wary. Many are disappointed to see the casino plans in Japan being delayed over and over again. Even MGM Resorts, one of the last companies pushing to enter this country, recently began voicing its concern with the situation.
Things are getting even worse right now. Many US casino companies are losing a huge amount of revenue with their operations in Macau. Even gambling revenue in the United States remains far lower this year than it was in 2020.
No one really knows what to expect with Japan’s casino industry. It will be years before any casinos open here. Some even feel Japan could repeal its casino bill and kill the industry before it even gets started.
Are you surprised to see how long it has taken for casinos to open in Japan? Let us know in the comments 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. …