News, Culture & Society

The Bright Future of Japan’s Casinos

There are many reasons to be excited about the Japanese online casino market. Although most forms of gambling remain illegal, online, and otherwise, industry experts have two reasons for hope: first, plans to establish land-based casinos, and second, the existing legal forms of gambling are prevalent. People should also be excited about online casinos, which offer various deals that will surely satisfy your highest betting expectations.

The most exciting sign of the potential of online casinos in Japan is the Integrated Resort Promotion Act (IRPA) passed in July 2018. The bill allows the Japanese government to authorize integrated resorts, including hotels, entertainment centers, restaurants, bars, and, most importantly, casinos.

Currently, the three main cities of Japan are preparing to build casinos. Tokyo, Osaka and Yokohama, and Nagasaki and Tomakomai (on the island of Hokkaido). Although construction is planned, there is still a way to go before the gate opens, and it is expected to open in mid-2020. Some optimists expect it to open in time for the Osaka Expo in 2025 when Japan will receive many tourists worldwide. Although many others think this is an unrealistic schedule.

Regardless of whether the first batch of integrated resorts can open in 2025, the global gaming industry has set its sights on Japan because of its vast untapped potential. In fact, it is believed that Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, may also become the third-largest gambling market after Macau and the United States, worth 15 billion U.S. dollars, and some experts predict that it will reach 20 billion U.S. dollars.

Of course, if you don’t talk about pachinko machines, the discussion of gambling in Japan is not complete. Pachinko machines first appeared in the 1930s and quickly became popular after World War II. The pachinko machine is between the pinball game and the slot machine, and the player throws small metal balls on the playing field of the device, hoping to turn them into “catchers”.

When they do, they will get more balls and continue the game with these balls to win as many games as possible. The pachinko machine is located in a legal grey area in Japan.

First of all, the Japanese government classifies it as a game of skill. Second, and most importantly, what players earn by collecting their balls is not money, but prizes, such as gadgets, toys, and snacks. However, players can also exchange their balls for “special prizes”, which can be exchanged for cash at a separate location nearby, called a “token exchange business.”

This is a particular step between winning and collecting, performed in two different areas, allowing pachinko to operate according to the complex gambling laws of Japan.

On the other hand, the income generated by pachinko machines is not complicated, which in 2017 generated 19.5 trillion yen (180.3 billion dollars), almost 30 times more than in Las Vegas. Even more impressive is that this represents nearly 4% of Japan’s GDP!

The good news for the Japanese casino industry is that some large pachinko companies, including Sega Sammy Holdings and Dynam Japan Holdings Co., are looking to expand into casino machine manufacturing. Since these companies are already familiar with the unique Japanese market and consumer familiarity, they will know how to create and market games to attract new visitors to Japanese casinos.

Although Japan currently has no licensed online casinos, forcing players to play slots, roulette, and blackjack on websites in countries such as the United Kingdom and Malta, the future of the Japanese gaming industry looks bright. The substantial annual income generated by legal gambling activities such as pachinko and horse racing shows that the Japanese have a strong interest in gambling and betting.

Plus, with the novelty factor provided by the casino, although the proposed casino is mainly aimed at promoting tourism, they can attract the imagination of residents, and they can visit the casino to experience new and exciting things.

Since then, once casinos become popular in the Japanese market and the government sees the expected push from integrated resorts to the tourism industry, the next step is to regulate their online casinos and profit from revenue. The future of Japan’s casinos will bring amazing effects to its economy and people’s lifestyle.