The first casino in Japan has been given the green light. Japanese authorities have given controversial plans to construct Japan’s first gambling resort, the Go-light.
In the year 2029, the complex will make its debut in the city of Osaka, which is located in the west.
Casinos have been prohibited in Japan for a very long time. However, in 2018, a law that made exceptions for specific games, including poker and baccarat, was enacted to stimulate the economy and increase tourism.
Opinions in the general public are divided, with some concerned about increased criminal activity and gambling addiction.
The 5.3 million square foot (49-hectare) entertainment complex will feature a hotel, a convention center, a shopping mall, a museum, and a casino.
According to statements made by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, “We hope that (the casino) will become a tourism hub that promotes Japan’s attractions to the globe.”
The project has an initial investment of 1.8 trillion yen, equivalent to $13.5 billion or £10.7 billion. The casino operator MGM, based in the United States, and the Orix Group, based in Japan, share a 40% stake in the enterprise.
The remaining twenty percent will be held by regional businesses such as West Japan Rail, Kansai Electric Power, and Panasonic, which is situated in Osaka.
According to a Japanese news service, the local government anticipates the resort will draw in over 20 million guests annually and bring the region approximately 1 trillion yen in economic benefits.
The idea for the project was initially conceived many years ago; however, its implementation was put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a corruption scandal involving a lawmaker from the ruling party accused of accepting bribes serving as the lawmaker in charge of casino policy.
The gaming industry views Japan as a potentially lucrative market. It has a population of over 126 million people and is the third-largest economy in the world.
In addition to this, it is located near wealthy gamblers from Asia, particularly China. Macau is the only city in China where the government sanctions gambling in casinos.
The Nagasaki prefecture has also proposed constructing a casino at the Dutch-themed amusement park Huis Ten Bosch, as has another prefectural government in Japan.