Japan’s IRs won’t tax winnings of foreign visitors

By Violeta Prockyte

Akira Amari, the head of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Research Commission on the Tax System, stated the winnings earned in Japan’s IRs will be tax-exempt for foreign gamblers.

The casino policy is still under a discussion and taxation was a polarizing subject from the start. The Ministry of Finance wanted to tax the income, but industry professionals said the tax might be detrimental to the IRs. Las Vegas Sands’ Sheldon Adelson explained the taxation “will never attract one foreigner”. Amari agreed that it would be “meaningless if no one comes to the IRs after building them”. He also said that Japan’s casino tax policies must be based on “international standards”.

Based on the current proposal, the winnings of Japan’s residents would still be taxed if the winnings exceed a certain amount, and it’s unclear if this policy would change. The tax reform outline is scheduled to be announced on 10 December.

A taxation policy could undermine the purpose of the IRs to attract more visitors and boost tourism.

The IR Implementation Bill was introduced in 2018 and set a cap of three IRs nationwide. The Bill also included a 30% tax on casino gross gaming revenue.


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