Casino heavyweights are anxiously watching the public debate on casinos in Japan as they seek clarity in a multi-billion dollar prospect that is now muddled by evolving gambling regulations.
Analysts have been warning for months that the Japanese government is nipping the casino industry’s full potential in the bud as it toys with the idea of imposing regulatory curbs.
Bloomberg reported that many operators are following the developments in the public debate on Japan’s effort to allow casinos over fears that the multi-billion dollar potential in the island nation will turn into a dud.
“Our common goal is to see the introduction of world-class integrated resorts in Japan that drive economic, tourism and employment growth,” Steven Tight, president of international development at Caesars Entertainment, told the news agency.
“The government policy makers should ensure that the legislative framework doesn’t inadvertently hinder these aims.”
During the public debate, the Japanese parliament will deliberate anything that concerns the casinos – from gaming floor space to taxes imposed on operators. Casino operators, however, are keen on knowing whether the locals will be allowed to gamble in casinos or not.
Many Japanese are cool to the idea of having casinos in their country, especially when most of the residents associate gambling with organized crime and addiction.
In a study conducted by news service Jiji last month, most of the respondents cited disruption to public order and the negative influence on youth as the top reasons why they opposed casinos in Japan.
Then there’s also the issue on where to put these integrated resorts. The clear favorite cities so far are Osaka, Yokohama and Tokyo.
“I don’t think there’s any need to establish a facility so dangerous that it needs this much regulation,” Takeo Shibata, a professor at Seigakuin University in Tokyo, said at the hearing, according to the report. “We can be a tourist destination without casinos and with a clean image that will be reassuring for visiting families.”