There have been a group of lawmakers in Japan that have been backing the drive for resort casinos in Japan. As in all cases of opening expanses to legalized gambling, there is also a push against it. The pro-casino group has been hoping for active casinos by the opening of the Olympics in 2020. This seems highly improbable, as the next parliamentary meeting is scheduled for June. With a slight possibility of a bill being drafted by then, a vote wouldn’t even take place until 2016. There are still more arguments than agreements. There are projections of tens of billions of dollars in revenue at stake. Major details and compromises would have to be worked out before a bill is written that could have the ability of passing. Major points of contention revolve around local laws and the ability to keep gambling addiction in check.
Compromise is on the horizon in many facets of the proposed legislation. Opponents of the bill have discussed banning Japanese citizens from the resort casinos. A push back on this with forward thought of the bill has approached merely limiting attendance of its people. South Korea allows only foreign tourists to legally gamble. The major players in the industry are fighting back on this. Operators of the big casinos in the United States have stated their opposition to foreign trade only. They would not financially back an industry that so limits its revenue source. Local laws have come into play even before a bill has been introduced again. There have been previous attempts at legalized gambling, but have gone nowhere. Tokyo would be the place most investors are interested in placing casinos. Strong opposition has been displayed by leaders in Tokyo’s government. Another issue is the taxing of the proposed gaming. Horse racing is presently taxed, but the leader in revenue has not. Pachinko now takes in about the same amount as the casino market will generate. Pachinko, however is not taxed, as it is thought to be a non-gambling entertainment source.
Upwards of 40 billion dollars annually may be at stake. Certainly the opportunity for these resorts to be open during the Olympics is also looking grim. If Japan does follow the global trend, though, casinos may be reality at some point.