Date
21 September 2017
Dynam chairman Yoji Sato expects Japan's first casino to be "almost done" by 2020, when Tokyo hosts the Olympic Games. Photo: HKEJ
Dynam chairman Yoji Sato expects Japan's first casino to be "almost done" by 2020, when Tokyo hosts the Olympic Games. Photo: HKEJ

Japan may pass gambling bill by June, says pachinko operator

Dynam Japan Holdings Co. Ltd. (06889.HK), the largest operator of pachinko (pinball slot machine) halls, expects the parliament to pass a bill legalizing casinos in the country by June next year.

The company hopes to be a major player in the casino business once it is legalized.

Japan’s first casino is likely to be “almost done” by 2020, the year when Tokyo will host the Olympic games, Dynam chairman Yoji Sato told the Hong Kong Economic Journal in an interview.

He said part of the reasons why Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dissolved the parliament in November was to ensure enough support for the gambling bill.

The industry is expected to generate US$40 billion in annual revenues.

Sato said there’s a  “99 percent” chance for the bill to be passed by June, although other business insiders believe the legislation will not be ready until the end of 2015.

Grant Govertsen, an analyst at Union Gaming Research, expects the first casino to open not earlier than 2021.

South Korea is also beefing up its gambling sector in the hope of absorbing demand from northeastern China.

Lippo Ltd. (00226.HK) plans to open a casino resort at the Incheon International Airport while Landing International Development Ltd. (00582.HK) hopes to establish a gaming hub on Jeju island.

Meanwhile, Macau, the world’s largest gaming hub, is seeing lacklustre growth in its gaming revenue amid Beijing’s crackdown on graft and lavish spending.

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Freelance journalist

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