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Japanese cabinet, led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has passed a casino bill that would make casino gambling legal in the country. The cabinet has agreed to issue three licenses, along with other measures that could help spawn a viable industry. The prime minister is reportedly keen to push the Diet, the country’s legislature assembly, to approve the bill before June 20.
Every Japanese legislation originates at the cabinet. It must be subsequently approved by the Diet. Because the Abe government is keen about the casino legislation, there is a very good chance it will be approved by the Diet. Among the bill’s provisions are:
- A 30 per cent tax on gross casino revenues.
- A $55 casino entrance fee for Japanese citizens (tourists can enter free).
- Japanese citizens would be limited to three casino visits a week, or 10 per month (no limits on tourists).
- Casino space limited to just 3 per cent of an integrated resort’s total square footage.
Although estimates of just how lucrative the Japanese casino market could become have trended lower as the reality of legalisation has moved steadily forward – initially it was estimated to be worth some $40 billion, but analysts now peg it closer to $15 billion – it would still be worthwhile for Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS), MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM) and Melco Resorts & Entertainment (NASDAQ: MLCO) to spend the $10 billion or more they have pledged should they win one of the licenses.
Source: European Gaming Media and Events