Find more analysis and data on Asia’ casinos in GBGC’ new Global Gambling Report – published April 2010
With the opening of the integrated resorts in Singapore and the growing casino markets in the Philippines, South Korea and Macau, attention has turned to Japan to see it if too will finally legalise casinos.
Casinos are prohibited under Japan’s Penal Code but their development has been on the agenda in Japan for a number of years.
Japan’ gamblers currently travel to casinos in the likes of Las Vegas and South Korea to do their gambling. In 2008 over 600,000 Japanese customers visited the foreigner-only casinos in South Korea.
In June 2006 the Liberal Democratic Party’ (the then ruling party in Japan) casino panel recommended a basic policy of developing two or three casinos to attract foreign visitors to Japan and revitalise regional economies.
But political instability has hindered the further progress of casino regulation in Japan. Since 2006 Japan has had five different prime ministers.
The propensity to gamble amongst Japanese citizens is well known, with vast amounts gambled on domestic horseracing betting and Pachinko and Pachislot machines.
On a recent visit to Tokyo, GBGC observed SEGA’ Derby Owners’ Club – the hugely popular horse racing and training simulation. As can been seen from the photos, players sit at linked terminals in SEGA games rooms and watch their horses run on the big screen.