Tokyo’s Governor Yuriko Koike is not expected to share her position regarding the integrated casino proposal. Koike who had won the 2016 election after the resignation of Naoki Inose, was the first female governor in Tokyo. Next year will be the end of the governor’s four-year term.
From 1993, the governor was a member of the House of Representatives of Japan. She resigned in 2016 when vying for Tokyo’s gubernatorial election.
Michio Kitamura, Japan’s former Defense Minister was nominated as the head of the Casino Management Committee (CMC) this week. The committee of five members will help decide which three integrated casino properties would get the licenses.
Meanwhile, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will have a number of meetings with aspiring casino consortiums. These series of meetings have been named “Tokyo Bay Area Vision” and will run from 20th January to February 2020. From the discussions, an IR will be considered.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe together with his Liberal Democratic Party, plans to legalize commercial casinos in a bid to enhance tourism in the country. However, the process is already facing a number of obstacles.
Japan had banned gambling for decades but legal games such as Pachinko are popular in the country. Pachinko is a game where a ball is bounced and falls onto a position that earns the player prizes. While there’s no earning money in the parlors, players can trade the prizes for cash from adjacent stores.
There are concerns that citizens are already becoming addicted to this game. According to Casino.org, those who oppose the proposal fear that new gambling options could worsen the problem. In light of this, critics are hesitant to support the integrated casino proposal. As such, Koike like other 2020 conservative candidates have also shown reservation regarding this issue.
Casino operators are busy competing to win the bidding for Japan’s licenses. MGM Resorts and Las Vegas Sands are the frontrunners in the race for Japan. These two companies not only have the required experience in the IR business but are also operating internationally.
Other companies seeking licensure will have to surpass these credentials to land the spot.
LVS is reported to be targeting Tokyo and the expected investment will be massive. Rob Goldstein, the company’s COO revealed that the investment would be approximately $12 billion during the third-quarter report.
With such an investment, the project would be the casino’s largest development project. However, Goldstein had shared that the high price tag called for lots of consideration. One such concern is whether the investment would fetch returns that the shareholders deserve.
Las Vegas Sands is the owner of Palazzo and The Venetian in Las Vegas, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore as well as a chain of casinos in Macau, China.
Marina Bay Sands was opened by Sands in 2010 and was billed as the most expensive casino property in the world following its $8 billion worth. The resort entails hotel rooms, exhibition centers, malls, museums, theatres among other luxurious venues.