Date
19 October 2017
Chairman Yoji Sato (right) and CEO Kohei Sato said the rise in consumption tax has dealt a blow to the business in the last financial year. Photo: EJ Insight
Chairman Yoji Sato (right) and CEO Kohei Sato said the rise in consumption tax has dealt a blow to the business in the last financial year. Photo: EJ Insight

Dynam Japan won’t bet on casino legalization

Japan only has a 60 percent chance of seeing a casino bill pass in the legislature in August, leading Japanese pachinko hall operator Dynam Japan (06889.HK) said on Friday.

The long-running debate on whether to legalize gambling casinos in the country is now entering a critical phase, as the bill that allows casino-based integrated resorts will be voted upon by the Diet in August.

If approved, Japan is expected to become the world’s third-biggest gambling hub behind Macau and Las Vegas.

“We think that there is a 60 percent chance the bill will be passed,” said Yoji Sato, chairman of Dynam Japan.

The bill had failed to garner enough support from lawmakers in a previous session of the parliament amid concerns over social problems related to gambling.

Meanwhile, Dynam Japan saw its earnings nearly halved due to an increase in consumption tax and a sagging economy.

Net profit slumped 46.8 percent year on year to HK$726 million for the financial year ended March 2015, while revenue was down 6.8 percent at HK$9.96 billion.

Chief executive Kohei Sato said consumer confidence dropped significantly after the consumption tax was raised to 8 percent from 5 percent in April last year.

The real GDP growth rate for the period of April 2014 to March 2015 was minus 1 percent.

“The pachinko hall industry has greatly suffered from such negative impact in economy,” he said.

Kohei Sato said the company is considering a partnership with casinos or junkets in Macau to develop the business.

But Dynam Japan has to be the main player in such a partnership to conform with Japanese laws, he added.

The company now has 172 high-playing-cost halls and 221 low-playing-cost halls in 16 prefectures.

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JH/JP/CG

EJ Insight reporter

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