MGM Resorts Expresses Confidence in Japan’s Gaming Potential
- MGM Resorts says Japan will be a big gaming market despite complex regulatory framework
- MGM remains committed to pursuing its casino resort project in Osaka
- The development could bring in JPY106 billion in tax to Osaka and the national government
Japan has great potential as a gaming market and could very well follow in the footsteps of Singapore. The Japanese government wanted to take full advantage of this potential by laying out a detailed plan on how the casino industry can contribute to the country’s economic growth and development without driving people towards problem gambling.
For this reason, authorities have come up with a rigorous regulatory framework that is viewed by some as too stringent, causing critical uncertainties on the business side of things.
MGM Resorts says it understands what Japan wants to achieve and is confident that the gaming business will flourish in the country and that is why it chose to proceed with its casino resort project, according to Ed Bowers, the President and CEO of MGM Resorts Japan who also serves as President for Global Development at MGM Resorts International.
Japan Is A Great Gaming Market
Japan is set to have its first casino under the country’s liberalization program which was approved in 2018. Just two cities submitted their integrated resorts (IR) proposals to the national government in April this year, one of them is Osaka where MGM Resorts is planning to build a multi-billion dollar casino resort development.
Speaking at the recent Global Gaming Expo (G2E) Asia held at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands, Bowers said Japan has made its goals clear right from the start and they are quite ambitious – any IR proposal must prove that the casino resort complex can attract foreign tourists, can compete with existing IRs overseas, and will bring massive benefits to its host prefecture.
Furthermore, the industry must put in place the necessary safeguards and controls to protect customers from problem gambling. These stringent requirements had led some companies to withdraw their IR bids, Bowers said.
MGM Resorts, however, has remained committed to its casino resort project in partnership with the Osaka prefecture and Orix Corp. Bowers expressed confidence that Japan, which is home to nearly 130 million people, will be a big gaming market.
MGM Resorts’ IR Project to Generate JPY106 billion in Tax
MGM Resorts’ IR scheme will involve an investment of up to US$9 billion. The real money casino resort complex, which will be built on Osaka’s Yumeshima island, is projected to generate around JPY106 billion in annual tax for the local prefecture. Japan’s national government will also benefit from the same amount. Bowers noted that their proposal has the edge in terms of political support with the project receiving much-needed backing from both Osaka city and prefecture.