Japan creates casino task force

Shinzo Abe, Japan’s Prime Minister, is creating a task force in order to prepare for the start of the casino industry in the country, despite the fact that gambling legislation to approve the multi-billion dollar integrated resorts has yet to be approved, Forbes magazine reported this week.
Abe’s government hopes the investment from some of the major gambling operators works as an economic stimulus to take the economy out of two decades of weak growth and deflation. Investors believe that Japan could become one of the biggest gambling markets in Asia with annual revenues of US$20 billion (MOP160 billion). Already in the race anticipating the green light from Japanese legislators are MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, Wynn Resorts, Genting and Las Vegas Sands. Some of these companies have already publicly announced investments of around US$5 billion to build their integrated resorts and have started negotiations with Japanese companies regarding future joint ventures.
According to Forbes, Shinzo Abe expects that the task force will also revive the momentum for casino to be developed in time for the 2020 Olympic Summer Games and gain enthusiasm from legislators. The casino legalisation bill, introduced last December, failed to be approved in June, even with the support of the government and some of Japan’s biggest conglomerates. The vote is now expected in October.