Japanese legislators are expected to discuss gaming regulation early next year and finalize the rules and regulations that will govern its new casino industry. The Japanese diet will have to make many critical decisions that could make or break its casino market and legislators want to be very careful in examining as much market research as they possibly can before finalizing on gaming regulations.
Japan has already shown a preference to follow Singapore’s gaming model and has spent a significant amount of time comparing and analysing Singapore’s two casinos and gaming regulations. Legislators have also commissioned researchers at the University of Las Vegas (UNLV) International Gaming Institute and Washington State University to compile two detailed reports on the impact that the casino industry will have on Japan and what kind of gaming regulations will be required to run a smooth gaming industry. We take a brief look at both reports and some of their recommendations.
UNLV & WSU Reports
Legislators and business tycoons in Japan wanted Bo Bernhard, Jennifer Roberts and Brett Abarbanel who work for UNLV and Kahlil Philander who works for Washington State University to research the Japanese market and then put together an analysis of the Japanese casino industry which is estimated to generate around $25 billion annually and provide recommendations and insight into what legislators should keep in mind while formulating gaming regulations.
The first report is titled “Socio-Economic Impacts of Japanese Integrated Resorts” is 100 pages long and was submitted on September 2. The report is in in-depth analysis of the impact that full scale integrated resorts will have on the Japanese economy, the boost it would provide to the tourism industry, the influence it would have on Japan’s overall goals and the consequences of problem gambling and organized crime. The report gives legislators recommendations and suggestions that they should consider while finalizing gaming regulations.
There is also an additional 31 page “Practical Perspectives on Gambling Regulatory Processes for Study by Japan: Eliminating Organized Crime in Nevada Casinos” which was submitted on August 25 and takes a look at Nevada’s casino industry and how it broke out from organized crime and turned into one of the top regulated gaming markets in the world today.
Eliminating Organized Crime
All of the University researchers spent a lot of time working closely with Japanese legislators and businessmen, traveling to Japan and doing first hand research before putting together this detailed report. The second report that was submitted gives legislators information on what they should avoid and what they should adopt in order to ensure that the casino industry does not boost organized crime in the country and increase problem gambling in the nation, which is one of the biggest concerns of anti-gambling legislators.
The report states that some of the key criteria that need to be established to prevent organized crime and reduce problem gambling is setting up strict pre-licensing investigations into the background of each casino operator, being selective on which operators get casino licenses and putting together robust post licensing procedures that target gaming regulation compliance and internal controls.
Local Partnerships
Top casino operators in the United States such as Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands Corp have already invested millions of dollars in studying the Japanese casino market, flying their senior executives over to Japan to meet with legislators to discuss their interests and potential investment into the market and to also offer in lobbying efforts to get gaming legislation approved.
There are also a number of domestic operators in Japan as well as other international operators outside the United States who are also vying for a Japanese casino license. Researcher Kahlil Philander believes that local businesses will have an advantage in the Japanese market because of their knowledge of market conditions, existing brand reputation and the potential consumer database they could possess. Sega Sammy is one of these local businesses that international firms could be looking to partner with.
In a statement, Philander said “Sega Sammy has a strong brand, it appears in many of these markets that are being considered. Even if they don’t have direct experience in running, developing or building an integrated resort, they still might have some assets, brands or connections to players that would be useful for a partnership or some other type of joint venture.”

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