Sheldon Adelson Makes A Trip To Japan To Get Casino Update

Sheldon Adelson Makes A Trip To Japan To Get Casino Update

The chairman and founder of global casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS) Sheldon Adelson made a short visit to Japan recently.

The 84 year old billionaire made visits to Tokyo and Osaka last week in order to get update on the current situation regarding Japan’s casino legalization process.

In a statement Ron Reese, senior vice president, public relations for Las Vegas Sand said,

Mr Adelson was in Japan (Tokyo and Osaka) to get an update on the situation there and offer LVS’s support in any fashion that might be helpful to the process overall, especially given his well-documented leadership in the MICE industry

MICE refers to meetings, incentives, conferences and events segment which is a key focus for the company in the markets of Macau and Singapore. Japan legalized gambling in December 2016 but a second legislation containing detailed regulations for the casino industry is still under development. The second bill named the IR Implementation Bill will include key regulatory provisions such as the locations, taxation rate and the number of casino licenses that will be issued in the first round.

Las Vegas Sands has been named as one of the top contenders for a license as per a Morningstar report, primarily due to its successful track record in developing and operating gaming properties worldwide. Another operator said to be preferred is MGM Resorts International.

The fact that Sheldon Adelson took the time to fly to Japan and meet with top executives shows just how much LVS wants to establish its presence in the Japanese market. The casino industry is expected to boost Japan’s economy and also give its tourism industry a boost.

According to details revealed so far, a bidding process will be held to determine who gets the casino licenses.

Global Market Advisors LLC stated in a report released earlier this year that a first round of request for proposals will be held for three integrated resorts followed by a second round featuring the shortlisted firms. Some media reports have however stated that only two urban and two regional licenses will be issued. Local governments are reportedly working with casino operators to develop proposals that will be submitted to the central government for the bidding process.

In terms of casino locations, analysts have speculated that Tokyo could be omitted due to lack of clear commitment from the local government, challenges in finding a site location and the coming 2020 Summer Olympics

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Slot Machines and Blackjack to Become More Popular in Japan

Slot Machines and Blackjack to Become More Popular in Japan

Slots and Blackjack on the rise in Japan

Japanese gamers begin to appreciate slot machines and blackjack more than other similar games.

One of the world’s leading consulting firms when it comes to the casino gaming, hospitality and airline industries, Global Market Advisors (GMA) claims the future gaming floors of Japan will be much different than they are now.

GMA believes slot machines will have a much bigger share, also adding that blackjack will become the player’s favourite, while baccarat will drop in popularity.

GMA thoroughly analyzed the situation, stating that the biggest misconception is to assume that Japanese players have the same taste as those in Macau, China’s Special Administrative Region.

A Different Gaming Culture

Unlike the Chinese, which have a table game culture, Japanese gambling culture is centered around machines. While Baccarat and Sic Bo are very popular among the Chinese, the players in Japan enjoy Oicho-Kabu and Pachinko.

The authors of the report believe that  50% of Japanese gaming floors will be allocated to table games, with 45% to slot machines, while only 5% will go to table games, at least at first. In the future, it is expected that those ratios will change in favour of slot machines, at the expense of table games.

GMA claims table games won’t lose popularity in years to come, but the firm predicts the rise of slot machines, especially in Japan, where electronic gaming is very popular and where manufacturers already understand the desires of players and the mechanisms of the market. It is expected that Japanese slot manufacturers, including Aruze, Konami and Sega Sammy will focus their attention to the development of those slots that will suit the needs of the adult population.

New Trends

GMA added that this rise in slot machines popularity would be more noticeable in Japan then on other Asian markets.

When it comes to table games, it is expected that blackjack will become more popular. This rise in popularity will come at the expense of baccarat tables, which won’t dominate Japanese gaming floors, at least not as they do in Macau.

Operators will have to adjust their offer to match the needs of the market, so it is quite possible to see new gaming solutions.

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Japan May Have More Focus on Skill-Based Gaming Machines

Japan May Have More Focus on Skill-Based Gaming Machines

Gaming industry experts are expecting skill-oriented electronic gaming machines to be popular in Japan’s soon to regulated casino market. These games usually involve a percentage being returned to the player on basis of performance in skill elements.

A panel of casino equipment suppliers backed this opinion during the second day of the Japan Gaming Congress. Many of the experts pointed to the fact that the Japanese consumers were already comfortable with games that contained elements of skills referring to the popular games pachinko and pachislot. Such games have been categorized as leisure games by Japanese authorities rather than gambling.

Thomas Jingoli, executive vice president and chief commercial officer of gaming equipment supplier Konami Gaming Inc. pointed out that the game of pachinko had several elements of skills and stated that he was fairly certain that the games introduced in the Japanese market will have similar elements that require a certain degree of skills.

Games involving a return to player (RTP) for player skill aren’t new but only recently has there been an interest in them. The millennial customer group is said to be the main target for such games as they have not been very attracted to traditional slot machines. Gaming markets have been experimenting with offerings that are different from regular slot machines in order to boost engagement levels among the younger generation. The state of Nevada recently cleared a bill that allows slot machines to add in skill-based elements.

In New Jersey, GameCo Inc, a maker of skill-oriented video game gaming machines has said that it has received approval from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to install its range of products at properties owned by Caesars Entertainment group in Atlantic City.

In a statement, Takashi Maekawa, vice president for business development at Sega Sammy Creation Inc said

It could be perfect timing for skill-based games to be introduced in Japan since all the other mature markets like Nevada have started to introduce those games. Maybe by the time [a] casino is opened in Japan, we will probably be in the second or third phase of developing skill-based games, giving us time to learn what kind of skill-based games works in the market.

Investment firm Morgan Stanley states that casino openings in Japan are likely to happen only after the year 2021. It is highly likely that the games offered in 2021 will have a completely different feel to them than traditional casino games.

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Japan Casino Gambling Law Takes Full Effect

Japan Casino Gambling Law Takes Full Effect

japanJapanese ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe saw the gambling legislation go through both chambers of parliament last week and the new law officially came into effect on Monday while sparking a public debate.

The Japanese government will now be able to promote its plan which would include opening the integrated resorts – hotels and entertainment facilities, shopping malls and conference hall within the same establishments as casinos – aimed towards enhancing the revenue from tourism.

The new law has increased public concern over the risk of gambling addiction with the main opposition Democratic Party, Japanese Communist Party, Liberal Party and Social Democratic party all agreeing to submit a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister Abe’s cabinet earlier this month.

The law was also deemed as threatening to the “dignity of the legislature” as Tokyo-based non-profit groups rally around in protest, in order to alert both society and the government of the potential dangers of the newly-implemented model.

“Politicians claim they are concerned about a rise in gambling addicts. But the current bill is insufficient in resolving those problems and needs to be revised,” president of the Society Concerned about the Gambling Addiction Noriko Tanaka was quoted by Xinhua.

Abe’s gambling law, however, is said to be addiction-aware as government is supposed to prepare additional legislation which would be connected with casino resorts-related problems including gambling addiction and ways to prevent organised crime in the industry.

Japanese government is hoping that the new law will allow country to make a step forward financially and that gambling will aid the flagging economy with a projected casino business revenue worth $ 40 billion per year.

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Japan Clears Path to Gambling Legislation

Japan Clears Path to Gambling Legislation

japanJapan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his parliamentary coalition are making giants strides towards the legalization of high-stakes gambling in the Asian country.

The Government is eager to push through with the plan that is deemed to attract more tourists and help the Prime Minister realize one of his key economic policies.

Allowing large-scale projects which will combine casinos with hotels and resorts, shopping and conference facilities is likely to bolster the country’s economy and sustain high level of tourism after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The world’s third-largest economy could benefit from the projected worth of the gambling market that goes well beyond $ 40 million a year.

The Upper House Committee has approved a Bill on Tuesday, bidding to legalize high-stake gambling which is almost certain to be pushed through by the full Chamber as early as on Wednesday, which is the last day of the ongoing parliamentary session.

BBC reports that shares in some of the world’s biggest gambling companies such as Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts have seen a significant rise after Japan made one step closer to legalizing the casino business.

The operators have been rather excited by the prospect of Japan becoming an open and regulated gambling hub, since the huge potential of the market so close to China.

Amidst the excitement, there have been strong concerns regarding the potential gambling addiction and other social upshots such as organized crime. Lawmakers brushed off the concerns by passing a vote on the Bill that is now almost certain to become a law.

The new high-stake gambling Act will add casino games to the existing pool of government-backed gambling on horse, boat and bicycle races.

Tokyo, Yokohama and Osaka are in line to be determined as potential location for the casinos.

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