Industry commentators suggest that Japan’s casino industry could finally get the go ahead after the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) gained a majority in this July’s upper house election.
This will allow the LDP to push through legislation and could set the stage for an integrated resorts (IR) bill to receive a green light 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,” said Union Gaming analyst Grant Govertsen.
“The likelihood of passage has increased enough, it now feels better than fifty-fifty, to cause casino operators to step up their Japan efforts.”
Govertsen suggests that it is likely the government would grant licenses for two large IRs initially, based in Tokyo and Osaka, but left open the possibility that smaller licenses could be issued at a later date.
He also predicts that Kazuo Okada’s Universal Entertainment and Sega Sammy would be at an advantage during the initial licence tender process which he speculates could be biased towards Japanese IR operators, although it is likely that Macau’s Big 6 concessionaires and Genting Singapore would also bid.