Macau’s casino operators will initially come across serious challenges in their bidding for a casino license in Japan, a legal experts believes
Chinese casino operators might initially face certain setbacks when the race for three gaming licenses in Japan officially begins, according to Japanese legal expert, Hayato Terai. Mr. Terai was appointed earlier this year as the Co-CEO of GanaEight Coin, a blockchain project launched by online slot game developer Ganapati.
Mr. Terai spoke with the Macau News Agency (MNA) during the ongoing Asia Gaming Summit in Taipei, Taiwan where he was invited as a speaker.
The legal expert believes that Macau’s gaming and hospitality companies might face difficulties obtaining licenses for the development and operation of integrated resorts under Japan’s newly adopted gambling legislation. He told the MNA that his homeland “is very conservative so for [Macau gambling companies] to come in it might take a while.”
On the other hand, the legal expert said pointed out that the case will be completely different for Chinese gamblers and that they will certainly be welcome in Japan. The Japanese Diet passed this past summer the Integrated Resort Implementation Bill, a piece of legislation setting out the rules and principles under which the nation’s first integrated resorts with gaming floors will be operated.
Among other things, the bill contains provisions regarding the access to Japanese nationals to the casinos. Under the piece, residents of the country will only be allowed ten casino visits per month and will have to pay an entry fee of JPY6,000 (approx. $53). The measures aim to prevent an extreme rise in the number of people affected by problem gambling.
Mr. Terai noted that as Japanese nationals will only be able to gamble at the nation’s casinos under certain restrictions, customers from outside the country, particularly ones from China and the US, will be the main clientèle targeted by the venues.
Nobody Has Run a Large Casino in Japan
The Japanese attorney said that while Macau casino operators might face challenges in the race for the casino licenses, their expertise in operating large integrated resorts will eventually place them in an advantageous position. Casino companies will also have advantage over Japan’s pachinko companies, many of which have, too, expressed interest in participating in the casino license bidding process.
Mr. Terai said he found it funny how Japanese have a bad image of gambling, even though gambling is practically everywhere in the country and will be there “for a very long time in the future.” While most forms of gambling are illegal in Japan, there are several locally popular gambling options, including the pinball-like pachinko gaming machines.
In fact, the pachinko sector has been the one to be blamed the most for Japan’s soaring gambling addiction rate. According to a government-commissioned study from last year, 3.6% of Japanese have been found to have been addicted to gambling at some point in their lives, which is higher than the 1%-2% average in most of the other developed countries.
Under Japan’s IR implementation bill, three casino licenses will be issued by the government. Lobbying by major international gaming companies interested in the nation’s nascent casino market has already begun, although the licenses are expected to be granted in about a year from now.
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