Japan casino legalization?

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There will be considerably less reason for optimism over casino legalization in Japan should the push for IRs in the country fail this time, said a note from CLSA on Friday.

“It’s now or never,” said the brokerage, noting a verdict will likely be achieved by mid-December.

According to analysts Jon Oh and Jay Defibaugh, should Japan’s government be in favor of integrated resorts in the country, GGR could exceed US$10 billion from the get-go.

“Japan’s existing gambling market is already US$27 billion in GGR, mainly pachinko. Thus we believe that Japan’s gaming market could easily exceed US$10 billion in GGR for the metropolitan city IRs alone, with a potential to exceed US$30 billion upon full completion of the regional roll-outs. Yokohama (adjacent to Tokyo) and Yumeshima (adjacent to Osaka) metropolitans are the most likely locations, in our view.

According to the analysts, foreign front runners will likely include Las Vegas Sands, Genting Singapore and MGM, while local players include Sega Sammy, HIS and Konami.

“If the stars align, we forecast 2023 to be the earliest for an IR opening,” added the brokerage.

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