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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Japan Opening Casinos To Boost Economy

Casinos in Japan? That seems like a pretty good gamble by Japan’s government.

On Wednesday, December 14, 2016, Japan passed a new law allowing casinos in the country, expecting it to become  US$30-billion/year industry.

Yes, that’s right… until this time, casinos were illegal in Japan. They really thought that gambling was bad in Japan… despite the billions of dollars spent on the pachinko gaming industry in Japan…

Of course, there are the same concerns in Japan as brought up by every country where the casino industry has been talked about: societal ones, such as gambling addiction. There’s also the possibility of vice and crime, but those seem to be the area the Japanese yakuza would be concerned with… and by that I mean they would try and snare a piece of the pie for themselves. Everybody loves pie.

Then again, despite society frowning down on the yakuza, they are still allowed to operate and operate openly in Japan. Of course, this is because they try to keep illegalities out of the public’s eye, and there is the possibility of police corruption or simply the threat of violence to keep the police off their back. 

Here in Canada, some 20 years ago, we legalized casinos in Ontario. And while I thought I might go more often than I have, I have only been twice. I have gone to race tracks that offer slot machines and played the 25-cent slots… maybe I’ve lost a couple of thousand dollars back when I could afford to do so… but surprisingly, it did not become an addiction for myself.

I do know of a couple of people who tend to gamble far too much for their personal well-being… and it has hurt them… so Japan’s concerns have merit, I believe.

NHK, a Japanese television station, did an informal polling of Japanese people:

  • 44% of those surveyed said they opposed the casino bill;
  • 12% supported the casino bill;
  • 44% were undecided.
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo (surname first) and his government say that casinos will help increase tourism, which will help boost the economy...

The plan is to marry casinos with hotels, add in some shopping venues and entertainment venues... and holy crap - money in the bank.

I am unsure just why Japan thinks people will travel all the way out to its shores just to gamble. There are closer venues for Chinese tourists, for example.

Next up, more legislation will be required to determine things like tax rates, the licensing process and entrance fees.

Casinos will not likely be open for business until 2023 at the latest.

I have publicly proposed the use of casinos to eliminate island ownership disputes between China, Russia and Japan… especially for the southern islands and their issues with China.

Take a far way disputed western island, and with China, Japan could build and run federally-sponsored casinos… a profit-sharing venture that could make both parties happy…. what with all the money they could save by not having to threaten each other.

Come on… daddy needs an eight,
Andrew “Snake-eyes” Joseph

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