IAG JANUARY 2017 WEB - page 8

Cover Story
get IRs up and running without a major time gap following the
Upper houseelections in July 2016gave theLDPpreciselyhalf
the chambers’ seats and control of the bodywith an independent
partner. Still, as late as mid-October, insiders dismissed the
possibility of a casino bill during theDiet’s 2016 special session.
But new party deputies plus openings in the legislative agenda
led the LDP to put political capital behind the IR Promotion bill
and with supporters and opponents using strong arm tactics as
the session wound down, the bill passed, despite widespread
public opposition.
Japan has been lurking as a potential casino destination for so long
– substantive legalization efforts beganduringMr Abe’s first stint as
PrimeMinister in2006-07asameansof helping Japanoutof itsnow
quarter century long economic funk – that it’s easy to lose sight of
what auniqueopportunity it presents.
“Japan is the third largest economy in theworld and the success
of the casinos is not dependent on the Chinese market,” Global
Market AdvisorsManagingPartner SteveGallaway says.
Las Vegas Sands Chairman andCEO SheldonAdelson and his
MGM Resorts International counterpart JamesMurren have both
stated their companieswould spend recordamounts, up toUS$10
billion, ona Japan IR. For less renownedcasinocompanies, a Japan
license could do “what Singapore did for Genting,” thrusting it
into the top tier of global gaming, according to Spectrum Asia
CEO Paul Bromberg.
Morgan Stanley estimates Japan’s 2015 gross gaming revenue
frompachinko, thepinball and slotmachinegames that skirt current
gambling prohibitions, at US$35 billion – 20%more thanMacau’s
casino revenue. Based on that figure and Japan’s US$5 billion in
lottery losses, Morgan Stanley predicts casino gaming revenue of
US$20 billion by 2025. The report by analysts Praveen Choudhary,
“Given the sizeof the local
populationand significant interest
fromnearlyall of theworld’s top IR
operators, therewill beplentyof
demand to justify, ifnotnecessitate,
at least three IRs from theoutset.”
Tokyo loomsasanobvious
location for an integrated resort
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