Osaka Close to Becoming Japan's Casino Capital
Dotonbori in Osaka
When you think of Japan you immediately think about an innovative country where a big number of the world's most popular trends and brands are born. That's why it's so surprising to many that the country has still not embraced the popular game of casino.
But one of Japan's biggest cities is hoping for a change in the law that will allow it to open the first casino in the country. Government officials in Osaka are fighting off competition from other cities to try and become Japan's very own version of Las Vegas.
Leading the campaign is Osaka Mayor Hashimoto Toru and Osaka Governor Matsui Ichiro. They both want their city to be the first place to open a casino so they can attract some of the millions of international casino fans to Osaka.
The city's government has already been busy speaking to some of the world's biggest casino operators, including MGM Resorts International, which own many of the venues on the Las Vegas strip. It's expected that all of the city's efforts will pay off and the law will be changed soon, especially as the country's Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has already shown his support for the idea.
But whilst there's a lot of support for the country to legalise casinos, there has already been a lot of delays in getting the law debated by the government. The national government in Japan have only been discussing the "Integrated Resort promotion bill", which would allow casinos to be built, since December.
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo
Osaka Mayor Hashimoto has said that with the support from the prime minister he hopes that the law can be fast tracked through the National Diet so the city can open a casino by 2019. That means if the city plays its cards right, the casino could be open in time for the world to see when the country hosts the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
So what can Japan expect if the new bill is passed and casinos finally make it into one of the world's most innovative countries?
Whilst there is a lot of skill involved, a big part of playing on the casinos is luck, and luck is something that is very important in Japanese culture. Euro Palace Casino has some great advice on how to add some luck to your gaming. For example, they encourage their customers to try their casino games for free so they can learn the rules before playing for real money. As casino games have never been played in Japan before, that's something many of the country's citizens will need to do before they can enjoy the game.
Tokyo Racecourse at Fuchu
Although the country's somewhat confusing gambling laws make betting on the majority of things illegal, there are some exceptions to the law that Japan has already embraced. Whilst betting on all other sport events is banned, gambling on horse racing is allowed but only through bookmakers at the actual course. This means the country's ten official horse racecourses, or Keibas as they are known, attract tens of thousands of citizens to their most popular races.
No doubt if casinos become legal in the country then they will make Osaka a very popular place to visit for people living in Japan and around the world.
- Caesars to MGM in Talks With Osaka on $4.8 Billion Casino Plan (Bloomberg, Jan 21, 2014)
- Japan casino bill delayed again; resort opening could miss Olympics (Reuters, Oct 22, 2014)
- Osaka on leading edge of casino debate (Japan Times, Jun 22, 2014)