sakura trees in Japan
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Japan’s First Casino Given The Green Light 

Despite Japan’s passion for gambling, the absence of casinos within the country has been a notable void. However, the Japanese government recently announced its plans to rectify this situation by approving the development of Japan’s first casino in April 2023.

The long-awaited realization of a Japanese land-based casino is now finally within reach, prompting a closer examination of its forthcoming offerings. Furthermore, it’s essential to delve into the legal framework surrounding this current state of affairs. The news of the casino’s approval was unveiled by the Japanese government on April 14, 2023. As such, it marks a significant milestone in the nation’s history. Moreover, this ambitious endeavour will take shape in Osaka. Here authorities intend to construct Japan’s first casino as an expansive complex on Yumeshima, which is an artificial island situated in the country’s western region.

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Japan’s First Casino – Yumeshima Casino Resort In Japan

The estimated cost of Japan’s first casino project amounts to approximately $8 billion in Japanese yen, and it’s projected to be finalized by 2029. Numerous entities have rallied behind this casino, including the City of Osaka and MGM Resorts, the American gambling powerhouse. They are responsible for managing some of the largest casino complexes in the United States, among other locations. Each participant holds a distinct stake in this venture, ensuring the potential for massive collective profits if all goes well.

pretty street in Osaka

Amenities Offered At Japan’s First Casino

Japan’s first casino is going to be an extensive and impressive endeavour. In addition to the typical gaming halls featuring the usual assortment of jackpot slots and table games, it will feature various facilities, including:

  • Shopping malls
  • Hotels
  • Conference centre
  • Museum
  • Ferry terminal
  • Helicopter pad

The backers of the land-based casino project aim to make a grand impact right from the beginning. Their objective is to reach the projected annual revenue of $3.8 billion, and these amenities are part of their jackpot winning strategies to achieve it.

The Enduring Love Of Pachinko

While Japan has had a longstanding familiarity with gambling, it has been cautious in establishing a large-scale gambling industry with places like Japan’s first casino. Smaller gambling venues, like pachinko halls found in major cities, are popular among the Japanese public. The game of Pachinko holds a unique and enduring place in Japanese culture. In truth, it captures the nation’s love for entertainment and luck or chance. For decades, this pinball-style gambling game has mesmerized players with its flashing lights, clattering balls, and the exciting anticipation of victory. Pachinko parlours dot the urban landscape, drawing crowds seeking excitement and escape from everyday life.

However, its appeal extends beyond gambling, embodying a communal experience where players form social bonds and immerse themselves in a world of thrills. Pachinko’s popularity continues to endure. After all, it’s a reflection of Japan’s passion for both tradition and innovation. As such it serves as a cultural touchstone that still captivates generations of Japanese enthusiasts.

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Target Audience For Japan’s First Casino

But when it comes to mass gambling institutions, authorities have been hesitant to authorize major operations like the one proposed here. The primary purpose of the first casino in Japan is to attract tourists. Since Japan already has a thriving tourism sector, this venture will contribute significantly to its further growth. The plans for Japan’s first casino are ambitious, aiming for an estimated six million international visitors per year and approximately 14 million domestic tourists. The goals are undoubtedly bold, and it will be fascinating to observe the outcome.

Tokyo at night

Negative Community Stance Towards Gambling

Understanding the local community’s stance on the project is challenging. A significant portion of Japanese residents are either against or uncertain about further authorizations for gambling within the country. The colour of their perspective is due to the prevalence of gambling addiction among their compatriots. This stands at approximately 2% of the gambling population. In a country where following strict social norms is a paramount ingredient to a cohesive society, gambling addiction is viewed as an individual failing.

However, a majority of residents appear to support the expansion of the gambling industry. Among the polled groups, 45% of Osaka residents agree that this project should be pursued, making them the largest supportive group. It is unsurprising that many Japanese citizens would be interested in more accessible gambling venues, considering the growing popularity of online casinos like 22bet Casino for Japanese players.

Why The Delay?

It is evident that this project is of a massive scale. And its conception was overnight. Therefore, the question arises: why was the announcement for Japan’s first casino only in 2023? The reason is probably because the project faced a lengthy period of uncertainty during the planning phase. Japanese gambling laws had long been very stringent. However, they have been long overdue for a more sympathetic revision.

The initial indications emerged in 2016 when the government introduced legislation to facilitate the establishment of casino resorts in Japan. In 2018, a law was passed that permitted certain games like jackpot poker and baccarat. However, substantial progress was delayed for a couple of years. Plans for Japan’s first casino were initially expected to be announced in 2020, but that coincided with the onset of the global pandemic, which understandably diverted the Japanese authorities’ attention.

A Game Of Politics

With COVID now largely in the background, officials have a prime opportunity to thoroughly evaluate this new project of Japan’s first casino. Although its official announcement has been made, its future still remains uncertain. This is mainly due to the political landscape.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party has long supported the idea. However, there’s no guarantee that other political entities will share the same level of approval. It’s important to note that this is not a fear-mongering statement aimed at casting doubt on the establishment of the first Japanese casino. The casino will indeed soon be under construction. But the question is really about the timeframe.

Many now believe that its development may not conclude before 2029, at the earliest. If more conservative or anti-gambling parties come into power, then the scale of the venture of Japan’s first casino could potentially change. Nonetheless, given the strong support from local politicians, here at we anticipate only minimal modifications to the original designs.

japanese women walking away in Kimono

What Lies Ahead For Japan’s First Casino?

To put it mildly, securing approval for Japan’s first casino has been a challenging endeavour. As an aside, consider that there are currently no immediate plans to develop similar establishments. However, this doesn’t rule out the possibility of eventually expanding the gambling industry in Japan. If the revenue meets expectations, it could pave the way for additional gambling complexes in the country. After all, we all know how influential financial success can be.

Experts have predicted that a Japanese gambling industry supported by three high-end resorts could generate an annual total of $20 billion. Such a prospect would undoubtedly serve as a strong incentive for the government to support the opening of new venues. 

Until then, you’re stuck with gambling online at venues like 22BET Casino. In truth, you might actually be better off gambling online. Costs are considerably lower than those of land-based gambling establishments. And then you have the real dealbreaker: convenience. After all, simply being able to whip out your mobile phone at any time, and from anywhere, is hard to beat in terms of the convenience of being able to enjoy yourself playing exciting jackpot games whenever you want to.

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