The emerging gambling and casino markets in Japan started off as a tempting foundation for companies to expand their reach. Now, the latest details on how the government plans to handle gambling may have some providers a bit worried. New informations regarding regulations could lead to casino companies hedging their bets on Japanese gambling.
It is reported that the various firms behind casinos in Japan have already planned to spend as much as $10 billion each to get a foot in the door. Casino resorts and luxurious gambling venues were designed to cater to the Japanese market, which was speculated to become larger than Macau. However, the government in Japan is tightening up its regulations, which will affect the ability of every casino provider to operate in the country. Unfortunately, the outcome may lead to a market that brings more trouble than actual value to casino brands.
Japan began the process of legalizing gambling at casinos over two years ago in 2016. During that time, the biggest names in the industry expressed full support of the country’s decision to bring in gaming venues. One company in particular, Las Vegas Sands, states that opening a casino resort to accommodate Japanese players would range from $6 billion to $10 billion in costs. The lofty price tag is due to high costs of operation in Japan, making the potential casino much more expensive. A Japanese casino would cost Las Vegas Sands approximately three times as much as its venue in Macau.
The casino giant is obviously not the only firm trying to capture the Japanese market early. Major interest in new development has come from Hard Rock International, Galaxy Entertainment, and Caesars Entertainment. Lawrence Ho is a casino magnate from Macau, and his son has also shown interest in building a Japanese casino resort.
Japan and its government are creating major hurdles for casino operators. The most prominent issue is severe limits on how many times players can visit a casino over a course of a week or month. Each visit to a casino would be recorded on an identification card issued by the government with a chip built in. Another problem is size limitations. Japan reportedly will not allow any casino floor to be over 15,000 square feet.
Transparency is another factor facing casino operators. Any customer at a venue who spends or wins more than 1 million yen in 24 hours will have their information recorded and reported to the regulatory agency.