For so many years, East Asian nations have banned casinos and other similar establishments because it opposes their beliefs. However, things have changed a lot, and new casinos have been increasingly popular especially in South Korea and China. Macau, which is a Special Administrative Region of China, has been developed to rival Las Vegas in the United States as the gambling capital of the world. The gambling industry has been generating billions of dollars annually, and it helped the economies of South Korea and China.
Japan, on the other hand, has been experiencing stagnant economic growth. The great earthquake that struck the Tohoku Region in 2011 added to the government’s burden, as more tourists are starting to skip Japan off their holiday list because of the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima. It resulted in the decreasing number of international arrivals, and Japan has been struggling to sell their country as a tourist spot.
Thousands of Japanese who wanted to gamble are leaving Japan for other Asian destinations where gambling is legal. The government of Japan is missing out on the opportunity for the country to earn hundreds of billions in revenue. However, everything might change as the lawmakers in Japan have already considered opening their country to casinos and other gambling facilities. They are now getting the response from the local population, and as a trial for the creation of new gambling law, the government permitted three casinos to operate inside the country. These casinos would also offer other services like hotels, restaurants, and convention centers.
Gambling in Japan is not uncommon, as most of the population are hooked playing pachinko, a gambling device similar to a slot machine. However, the idea of coming inside a casino to gamble is strange in Japanese culture. Despite this, the government has seen a rising trend in using pachinko machines, as thousands of these devices scattered across Japan are generating 22 trillion yen every year. The Japanese are also active in betting for sports teams, and it is embedded in the Japanese culture.
According to experts, Japan is ready to operate its first casinos. Supporters of the casino industry in the country are stating that the industry will generate $34 billion once the Japanese government approved their operations. The government is planning to tax the casinos up to 30%, and it would be a massive amount for them to collect. Because of the news about the possibility of Japan opening up its doors to foreign casino operators, some multinational gambling companies have already spoken with the officials from Japan about their interest of building a casino resort in Japan’s main cities. Las Vegas Sands and MGM Resorts are among those companies who have expressed their interest in opening a hotel and casino in Japan.
Despite the growing calls for Japan to accept casino operations, the government stated that the decision would depend on the voice of the majority of Japanese. They would want to consult the public first before doing anything that could affect the Japanese society.