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Reports


MARKET REPORT: JAPAN


TOTAL LEISURE MARKET: ¥70.9TRN


LOTTERY TICKET SALES: ¥845BN


HORSE RACING TRACKS: 25 (10 JRA + 15 NAR)


JRA TURNOVER: ¥2.6TRN


NAR TURNOVER: ¥477.2BN


PACHINKO PARLOURS: 11,000


PACHINKO SLOTS: 2.9 MILLION


PACHISLOTS: 1.6 MILLION


PACHINKO/PACHISLOT REVENUE: ¥21.6TRN


Te key points include: l


Te government will designate certain areas for Integrated Resorts which will focus on areas of tourism.


l


Integrated Resorts will be run by private entities and licences will be granted by a Casino Control Committee which will be set up to licence casino operators and supervise the operations.


l


As the idea is to promote and stimulate tourism it is thought licences will be best granted to a consortium of domestic and international players given Japan’s unique customs and language barrier.


l


Once the Act is promulgated specific implementation legislation will be created so the government can approve IR areas and the time line is within one year after the Act enforcement.


l


Applications from operators must appeal to local governments not only based on financial implications but also by understanding regional characteristics and community requirements.


Te specifics of the bill have just recently been discussed and the bill was up for vote in mid April (coinciding with G3 publication). Te timeline is quite strict for the bill to be passed in the current session of Japan’s parliament which ends June 20.


Te legislators are expecting resistance from some Komeito lawmakers and from the opposition Japanese Communist Party and


P108 NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE /MARKET DATA


Democratic Party. Failure to pass the legislation this year would mean local elections expected next spring could make the Casino Bill too controversial to continue and may see it pushed back.


Te realistic view is that casinos won’t open until around 2023, after the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and will be used to help sustain the growth of tourism and related industry post Olympic Games.


Tere are several issues being discussed at present mostly concerning money laundering, anti social forces and the impact on young people. Te creation of a regulatory framework to protect vulnerable players for gambling related problems has since become a priority for the government.


Te bid to create a player safe environment means the policy makers have now started to address the problem of addiction and are now working on a responsible gambling bill and is


looking to pass this before the end of its session in June.


Te law broadly mandates the government to form a plan to stop gambling addiction and ensuring businesses cooperate. However it doesn’t specify rules that businesses must follow or penalties for non compliance. It does however outline specific duties such as restricting access to venues and providing funds for counselling.


After a series of meetings governing parties had (at the time of going to press) finally agreed on the 11 major issues regarding casino implementation. Te main one included limiting the number of resorts to three initially.


Previously the LDP had called for four or five IRs whilst Komeito preferred two or three during the first round of licences. However lawmakers will be able to review the number of licences after seven years rather than the 10 year moratorium originally stated.


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