Japanese Gambling Bill Approved by Prime Minister, Next Stop the Diet
Things are moving forward when it comes to Japan’s long-awaited gaming bill after the country’s government has said yes to the proposal.
The next stop for the Integrated Resorts Implementation Bill is the National Diet, Japanese bicameral legislature.
According to available information, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe intends to take up the proposal before the Diet’s current session ends on June 20.
Awaiting the Green Light
Abe said the authorities would promote tourism with visitors from all over the world spending days (at the casino resorts) while taking complete measures to address various concerns including gambling addiction.
If the country’s lawmakers approve the somewhat controversial proposal, we can expect casinos to open across Japan in the mid-2020s.
Under its current provisions, the bill sets a tax rate of 30% on casino gross gaming revenue, while limiting locals to 3 casino visits per week, or 10 in 28 days. It also establishes an entrance fee for the locals, set at ¥6,000 (US$56).
Operators will be required to obtain detailed information on customers, including their personal information, who deposit or withdraw more than ¥1 million ($9,500) over the period of 24 hours.
Market with a Lot of Potential
Commenting on the new proposal, Geoffrey Davis, Chief Executive Officer of Melco Resorts & Entertainment Japan said there wasn’t anything in the Japanese casino legislation that wasn’t manageable.
On the other hand, Osaka governor Ichiro Matsui pointed out the bill would be passed in the Diet, and added a casino resort would be realized in fiscal 2023 or by 2024 at the latest. Matsui said the government would promptly draw up a schedule to open up the facility if necessary.
According to analytical firm Fitch Rating, expected earning for the future Japanese casino market could be around $6 billion.
Commenting on their expectations, Fitch Ratings stated the said amount was well below consensus estimates which were generally above $10 billion and added it was at the low end of the $6-9 billion range previously estimated by the firm.