Speaking to a packed press conference in Mizuho, Japan, the president of MGM Resorts talked about their plans to introduce more poker and casino locations in the country. They are still awaiting legalization of gambling in Japan, but that is expected to be a formality. The Japanese government wants to tap into the potential revenue stream, while its citizens are pro-poker and pro-gambling.
The plan is for MGM to team up with Japanese businessmen and poker enthusiasts to build a series of casino resorts that will generate billions in gambling revenue. Instead of building the same types of resorts that already exist in Vegas, Macau and other spots, they want these sites to have an authentic Japanese touch. For this reason, concrete plans are not available to the public regarding these casinos. MGM is playing their cards close to the chest until formal approval is given by the Japanese government.
Will their plans work? Experts believe that Japan is an untapped market for these types of casinos. Based on surveys conducted in the country by various high profile agencies, it is estimated that 15 million people would visit casinos every year in Japan. This means around $20 billion worth of revenue for companies such as MGM resorts. These numbers would only increase as the casinos generate a positive buzz during their first few years of being open.
These plans are not only going to boost profits for casino conglomerates; they will boost the government. Tax income from casinos is astronomically larger than anything the Japanese government is currently bringing in. Adding casinos to Japan’s repertoire will also increase tourism by as much as 30 or 40 percent.
The ideas being laid out by MGM Resorts and Japanese businessmen are still at the early stages. There is a chance the Japanese government will oppose the legalization of casinos, but that seems unlikely. If everything goes well, there could be some great new poker spots in Japan by the start of 2016 or even the end of 2015.
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