Japan may not even have the framework for their proposed casino industry drafted, but that is not stopping casino operators from initiating plans to build massive resorts. This makes sense, however, seeing as Japan’s prospective casino industry is estimated to be one of the biggest, should it become reality.
As we have discussed in previous pieces, the legalization of casino gambling in Japan came with a catch. If lawmakers were not able to answer questions such as what to do with problem gamblers and how to prevent problem gambling from becoming an epidemic, casinos would never become a reality. So, right now, the bulk of the planning on the part of Japanese lawmakers is to determine how to control legalized gambling. Despite this marginal progress, casino operators are already seeking out potential locations and estimating costs related to constructing massive resort casinos.
According to CNBC and the head of Las Vegas Sands, constructing a massive resort casino in Japan could cost as much as $10 billion. There are a few reasons as to why this is so. For one, Japan being an island nation means that land comes at a premium. So, no matter where a casino sits, there is a strong likelihood that the land it is sitting on is quite pricy.
Secondly, estimates have claimed that a Japanese casino market could easily become the 2nd largest market in the world in the blink of an eye. Sheldon Adelson commented on this by saying, “It would be at least what we paid in Singapore, $6 billion including the land, but it could be as much as $10 billion.”
Adelson went on to say that Sands’ operations in Singapore, which were highly anticipated, will be nothing more than a “warmup” to the proposed Japanese operations. When you take into consideration just how much money stands to be made by casino operators in Japan, it makes a lot of sense as to why plans are already underway despite laws not being drafted.
Japanese lawmakers, with the help of a plethora of casino interest, have already begun planning the framework for legalized casino gambling in the country. Seeing as the chance to host casinos was only approved roughly 3 months ago, it might seem like Japan is rushing things along. If it does seem that way, its because this is an accurate reflection of reality.
A lot of work needs to be done, and there is not a lot of time left to do it. If lawmakers cannot draft the legal framework for the casino industry by the end of this upcoming December, they will need to start over again from square one. For this reason, it does not look like people like Adelson, and those like him, will be taking their eye off the island nation at any point in the near future. Beyond that, I highly doubt that this is the last we will hear of Japan. Expect for this topic to make a weekly appearance from now until casinos are officially licensed.