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Eight candidates to host casino resorts in Japan

At least eight areas have revealed their interest in getting a chunk of the newly legalized gambling sector in Japan. The candidates will compete for permission to host one of the three integrated casino resorts in the country.

Japan Tourism Agency’s survey has shown that Hokkaido, the city of Chiba, Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, a combined effort by Osaka Prefecture and the city of Osaka, Wakayama Prefecture and Nagasaki Prefecture are all interested in obtaining licenses to run casino resorts.

A different survey has indicated that cities of Kawasaki and Hamamatsu (Shizuoka Prefecture) are also considering hosting casino resorts.

Osaka has long been considered the front-runner in the casino race due to a large number of international visitors the city welcomes every year as well as the strong local political support for the potential development of a gaming resort. The potential Osaka license also appears to be the hottest one, as three major-foreign investors are interested in obtaining it, which includes MGM Resorts International, Genting Singapore and Galaxy Entertainment Group.

Analysts also believe that Yokohama, Nagasaki, Wakayama, and Tokyo could be selected as hosts to the country’s first three integrated resorts.

Japan legalized casino gambling in 2016 and authorized the construction of up to three integrated resorts with gaming floors to create a market some analysts believe could annually see $20 billion in gaming revenue. The Japan Tourism Agency is expected to conduct interviews with officials from the aforementioned areas to confirm the status of their preparations. The new gambling and entertainment venues are set to open around 2025.

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