Since 2016, all eyes have been on Japan and its decision to legalised gambling. The island nation, as one of the most populated areas in Asia, drew a lot of attention since then. This is mainly due to delays in follow up regulations for gambling. In April 2017, proposals were rejected by their parliament for ‘lack of detail.’ All other proposals were meant to be received in December, but this was delayed because of a snap election. Until this week, when regulations like a casino tax were put before the National Diet.
Some of the most discussed measures include a decision to limit casino visits for citizens. Using a national initiative, Japanese visits would be tracked by their identity numbers. Added to this could be a mandatory entry fee of almost CA$25. It would seem that lawmakers are struggling to find a balance in allowing casino resorts and protecting problem gamblers.
Casino Tax Proposal
This week, lawmakers have been considering the above laws. For the moment, their focus is on a casino tax. In 2016, officials hoped that allowing casino resorts would bring more tourists to Japan. However, by implementing a casino tax that is too high, they could lose this objective. According to reports, the casino tax has been suggested as 50% of gross gaming revenues (GGRs). When compared to Las Vegas, which advocates 7.75%, this is quite high.
On the other hand, Macau casino operators pay 39%. While in Singapore, they pay only 22% on the mass market revenue. There is a use for this high tax on operators, according to the Japan Times. Revenues will be ‘split equally between the federal government’ and cities where the casinos are run. This money will then be used for gambling addiction programs and ‘social security provisions.’
Future for Gambling in Japan
A finalised bill is expected by June of 2018, though the contents are yet to be agreed on. So far, investors are still hopeful that the market will favour them. Officials, however, appear to be playing their cards carefully while they consider the regulatory framework.