Too many people around the world the East Asian nation of Japan is probably most often associated with technology, groundbreaking entertainment, and car manufacturing. Many consumers have probably grown up watching popular television shows that were painstakingly animated by hand by Japanese cartoonists or being wowed by the animated films created by the legendary and Academy Award-winning Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki.
It is also probable that many of those same people have purchased a car that was manufactured by Japanese car companies that are household names across the globe like Toyota, Honda or Mitsubishi. Now Japan is looking to edge into a new marketplace that has normally been dominated by places like Macau or Las Vegas, and that marketplace is the world of casinos and gambling.
In 2016 the Japanese Government put an official piece of legislation on the books known as the Integrated Resorts Promotion bill that would be the first step in developing a thriving gambling industry in the country. According to a report, the size of Japan’s nascent gambling and casino sector could be valued by an amount as large as $40 billion annually.
While neon-bright signs and opulent resorts and casinos are usually associated with Las Vegas, the new Japanese law could turn the country into a go-to destination for gambling in East Asia. Naturally, a business opportunity with that much potential has led some gambling companies that are based in Las Vegas to express interest in developing the sorts of relationships that would allow them to participate in the new gambling economy. The Japanese government’s legislative move to create the space for a gambling sector has attracted the attention of corporations like Hard Rock, Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts and Wynn Resorts.
According to a report, all of the companies have noted that they would welcome the opportunity to invest in what could soon be Japan’s emerging gambling market. A member of MGM’s senior leadership expressed his belief that the new law has made the chance to participate in the Japanese gambling industry one of the most lucrative business opportunities on the planet. However, it is still early days yet.
Unfortunately for the US-based companies that are chomping at the bit to get in on the Japanese market the requirements that the Japanese government will place upon international gambling businesses that want to operate in their country are still to be determined. Some reports suggest that foreign companies that will be doing business in Japan under the auspices of the new legislation will have to work with Japanese businesses on the ground to manage jointly-run casinos.
Based on the limited information that is available about foreign compliance with the new law less than a handful of casinos are expected to receive approval which will likely make the competition to be one of the three companies it selects very stiff.