The waterfront Odaiba district in Tokyo (pictured) is the most popular location for a casino resort in Japan, according to an online survey by Japanese advertisement and public relations agency Hakuhodo Inc.
The location was chosen as the most attractive for a casino resort by 25.9 percent of the respondents, with the southern Okinawa Prefecture coming in second, with 14.2 percent, Japan Times reported. Osaka, with 13.2 percent of all votes, came in third.
The survey of 4,700 respondents was conducted in March.
Estimates by Hakuhodo quoted by Japan Times stated that a casino resort in Odaiba could attract 24 million Japanese visitors per year – the forecast excluded international visitors. Excluding shopping spending, a casino resort in Odaiba could generate annual sales of up to JPY2.9 trillion (US$28.5 billion), the agency added.
Hakuhodo forecast that a casino resort in Okinawa could attract around 14 million domestic visitors a year, generating sales of JPY1.3 trillion. If located in Osaka, a casino resort could attract 13 million visitors and JPY1.9 trillion, according to its estimates.
The Japanese government plans to set up a new body to speed up the process of licensing and opening the first casino resorts in Japan in time for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, a top government spokesman said earlier this month.
Casino legalisation in Japan will be a two-statute process. After an enabling bill legalising casino resorts at the conceptual level, a second piece of legislation would detail the specifics, including how they are administered and regulated.
The Cabinet Committee of Japan’s lower parliamentary chamber started discussions last month on the enabling bill. However, the Japanese parliament is now in recess.
GGRAsia has obtained a note of the main topics already discussed by the cabinet committee. In it, lawmakers give the clearest indication yet that they are interested in having foreign gaming operators involved in casino resorts. The note also shows that an entry levy could be imposed on foreigners as well as locals were casinos to be legalised in Japan.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said his party will seek to pass the enabling law to legalise casinos in the next session of parliament. According to media reports, there are at least six prefectural authorities vying to host casino complexes: Osaka, Tokyo, Hokkaido, Nagasaki, Miyazaki and Okinawa.
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