Casinos for Tokyo Olympics? Doubtful

A report from Union Gaming Research says integrated resorts in Tokyo and Osaka “will never happen” before the start of the 2020 Summer Olympic games in Tokyo. Even so, the environment is right to bring casinos to the marketplace, the gaming research firm added.

Sands wants in, says it would spend billion

U.S.-based Union Gaming Research says there is little chance Japan will open casinos in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics. Even so, analysts contend, once things start to move in the country, they may move quickly, reported GGRAsia.

“Those active in the sector for a while will know that Japan seems like a market that is always about to happen but never does,” wrote analysts Christopher Jones and John DeCree in the report. “With this in mind, one thing is absolute: casino legislation has never made it this far in Japan. Politically and economically, the setting is probably as good as it will ever get in Japan?a political environment that is notoriously unstable.”

The initial legislation needed to legalize casino gaming may not happen until later this year, the researchers wrote. “Our contacts suggest that although the first phase of a bill to legalize gaming in Japan would probably not pass until late 2015, we believe the decision by which operators will be blessed for certain markets will have already been decided by then.”

Las Vegas Sands Corp. has said it would spend up to US$10 billion on a Japanese casino, more than the US$8.5 billion MGM Resorts International spent for its budget-busting CityCenter complex in Las Vegas.