Gaming insights Gaming

Japan casino industry back on the radar

Written by Ben Blaschke

Japan’s on again, off again casino industry is a “better than 50/50” chance of finally getting the green light after the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) gained a majority in this month’s upper house election, according to Union Gaming analyst Grand Govertsen.

The result of the election means that the LDP will be able to pass legislation with ease, paving the way for an Integrated Resorts bill to get the go-ahead following years of close calls.

“With the LDP able to pass simple legislation at will, the only thing holding back the IR bill would be where it lands on the priority ladder,” Govertsen said.

“The likelihood of passage has increased enough – it now feels better than 50/50 – to cause casino operators to step up their Japan efforts.”

Govertsen said that it was likely the government would initially grant licenses for two large IRs – one each in Tokyo and Osaka – with smaller licenses possibly granted at a later date.

He also predicted Kazuo Okada’s Universal Entertainment and Sega Sammy would likely have the inside running on initial licenses due to expected bias towards Japanese IR operators, although Macau’s Big 6 concessionaires and Genting Singapore would also likely bid.