Is The Japan Gambling Market Still Worth It?

Three years ago, when Japan’s lawmakers made the first step towards the legalization of gambling in the country, many of the biggest casino operators around the globe immediately rushed to promote their businesses in the Country of the Rising Sun.

The reason why everyone became so interested all of a sudden is that Japan has huge gambling potential. According to some sources, the market could be worth up to $20 billion and has the potential to become the second-largest one in Asia after Macau.

It was only natural that the biggest players would want to be there when the whole thing starts.

The act that allows the construction of three integrated resorts has been passed, and now operators are spending a lot of time, money, and energy to showcase their abilities and get selected to be one of the three operators for those resorts.

However lucrative, the entire idea about being present in Japan might turn sour, as some operators are already giving up in the race, claiming that it’s too complicated of a process that might not give any results in the end.

In other words, after three years of active campaigning, the enthusiasm is wearing off among some of the operators, and one of them is Caesars Entertainment Corporation.

Caesars has had a lot going on lately, and one of the reasons why it’s becoming less and less interested in the Japanese market is to focus on its merger with Eldorado. However, that’s not the only thing that frustrates operators when it comes to Japan and the process of selecting the operators, as well as the cities where the resorts should be built.

Growing Complications

The bumps in the road are becoming real hurdles that both operators and lawmakers need to overcome to reach the common goal — putting three integrated resorts to work, for starters. However, the legislators would pass a certain law, but the problem is that nobody really wants to embrace it, and that creates a real problem.

What really annoys many operators is that deadlines are pretty distant, and they would like to speed things up a bit. For example, 2025 was set as a deadline for a potential integrated resort in Osaka, which would be just in time for the World Expo 2025 that will take place in that city.

Conditions that operators and host cities have to meet are also very strict. Japanese lawmakers want to come up with a complex tax system, and a lot of rules that would minimize problems such as gambling addiction or underage gambling.

Although operators are all in and want to be cooperative on this issue, they are running out of patience, especially because there’s a lack of coordination between the Japanese government and local representatives.

If they want to make the best out of their market that really has huge potential, Japanese legislators have to speed things up and make necessary steps such as awarding licenses as soon as possible.

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