Japan Concerned Casino Industry Will Be Impacted By China Gambling Blacklist
Japan legalized casino gambling in 2018 and gaming analysts were quick to label Japan as the next big casino market in Asia. There were initial talks that Japan could even challenge Macau which is the biggest gambling hub in the world.
Japan has struggled in recent years to push forward with gaming regulation and issue casino licenses. The process has been a long drawn out as Japanese legislators wanted to study numerous regulated markets and come out with robust gaming regulations. Japan is expected to issue three integrated resort (IR) casino licenses in the coming months.
Japan’s gambling market received positive ratings from market analysts because they believed that the three licensed casino operators would follow a similar strategy that Macau casino operators have used in the past and that is to attract Chinese gamblers and VIP players who are known to spend millions of dollars in their lavish gambling sprees.
However, legislator Kenji Eda from the House of Representatives is concerned that this strategy may no longer work in the Japanese casino market. Eda made a detailed blog post questioning how the Japanese casino industry was going to perform in the light of the China gambling travel blacklist.
China decided to make amendments to its criminal laws in the second half of 2020 to address the heavy outflow of capital that was going to overseas gambling establishments. China is also preparing a gambling travel blacklist to take note of which Chinese residents are traveling overseas for the purpose of gambling.
China is also keeping a close watch on the countries and casino operators that are continuing to try and attract Mainland Chinese to gambling overseas.
Is Japan On The Blacklist?
Gambling operators in countries like Australia, South Korea, Philippines and Vietnam have used junket operators to attract Chinese gamblers to their casinos. Gaming experts suggest all of these countries are on the blacklist but are not sure if Macau is on the blacklist. Macau belongs to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and is just an hour away by ferry from Guangzhou.
Chinese gamblers travel all the time to Macau for gambling entertainment and it appears unlikely that Beijing will put a stop to this. There is no indication as of now if Japan is on the gambling travel blacklist or not. If Japan is or does land up on the blacklist, casino operators in Japan will have to find another strategy to bring in overseas customers.