July 30, 2015

Japan Could Be the Next Top Destination for Gaming Holidays


Move over, Macau! In search of a gambling vacation? Japan just might be the next top spot.

For centuries, Japan has been known as one of the most ideal destinations for vacations for people who want to experience a rich culture, beautiful, ancient landscapes, and delicious fresh food. It has never been thought of as a destination for those looking for a bit more of a Vegas vacation, having effectively banned nearly all kinds of gambling in the country, allowing only some horse betting and pachinko parlors.

OkinawaPhoto Credits (Flickr CC): Okinawa, Japan by rurinoshima

With much excitement after the announcement that Japan would be hosting the 2020 Olympics, however, Prime Minister Abe has been pushing to legalize casino resorts in the country, already speaking to several potential investors who have been canvassing Japan for sites where they can build their next casino resorts. In the past, Japanese gamblers would have to travel to other Asian countries to play, with Macau being the primary destination for gamblers in Asia. Recently, however, Macau has been experiencing a slump in player numbers, as the region’s high rollers have begun looking for new places to gamble, exploring casino resorts in the Philippines and even India. Should casino resorts be permitted in Japan, the country stands to profit from these high rollers’ desire for a new scene.

Tokyo TowerPhoto Credits (Flickr CC): Tokyo by Night by ehnmark

Casino developers have long been eyeing Japan as the next emerging market. The world’s first online gaming brand, Intercasino, has already launched an expansion of their site to cater to the Japanese gambler, and renowned developer MGM Resorts International is reportedly ready to spend upwards of $10 billion on the creation of a casino in Japan. These casinos could peg Japan as an ideal destination, not just for cultural excursions, but also for those looking for a taste of the sweet life, rubbing elbows with high rollers.

Tokyo TowerPhoto Credits (Flickr CC): Tokyo by Night by VacationAdvice101

Experts say that, should the bill legalizing casino resorts be passed, only two or three resorts would be allowed in the beginning, aiming to finish construction by 2020 so Japan can benefit from the added boost to tourism, and thus creating thousands of jobs for Japanese citizens. These casinos would also include non-gaming attractions and five-star hotels, much like the casino resorts found in Singapore and Macau. Unfortunately, Prime Minister Abe’s previous attempts to pass a bill that legalizes casino resorts in Japan were rebuffed last year. The Prime Minister remains hopeful, however, electing instead to do further research on the potential effects of casino resorts on Japan’s economy and on the citizens.

Kyoto from KiyomizuPhoto Credits (Flickr CC): Kyoto by cheddarcheez

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