Japan risks jeopardizing its casino industry, analysts warn

By Josh Fisher
Brokerage Union Gaming has warned Japan that it risks harming its incipient casino industry by encumbering it with regulation.

In a Monday note penned “Japan’s IR (Integrated Resort) bill fiasco”, Grant Govertsen of Union Gaming Securities Asia cautioned against too stringent a regulatory system.

He wrote: “The framework seems to become more restrictive by the day, and when coupled with what are likely to be astronomical project costs, could result in some of the biggest operators sitting this one out.”

Japanese lawmakers are in the process of crafting a second casino bill that would regulate the country’s industry, with them having previously pointed to Singapore’s casino industry as a model for Japan’s own laws.

Govertsen believes that this approach may be flawed, however, as he explains that the local populations of Tokyo or Osaka are many more than that of Singapore, with a far greater influx of tourists.

Some of the world’s biggest casino operators have announced their interest in Japan’s casino bidding process, and the lawmakers will hope not to deter them with the regulations they are introducing.

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