Tokyo was chosen by the International Olympics Committee over Istanbul ( Turkey) or Madrid ( Spain) as the city to host the 2020 summer Olympic Games. This is the second time that Japan will host the games as they were previously held there in 1964. The announcement has come at a good time for those involved in the casino industry in Asia and in particular for the politicians and law makers in Japan who see it as a possible sign that legislation may be brought in to legalise casinos in the country.
Gambling is not permitted in Japan but certain types of betting do take place. There would be a broad base of support for regulated casino gambling to be allowed. (See article: Casinos may become legal in Japan). A cross party group of Japanese lawmakers hopes to set legislation in place for legal casino gambling this autumn with a view to having gambling legalised within a few years.The casino industry is hopeful that progress will be made as the prime minister, Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party are looked on as being supportive of legalized casinos. His party has a majority so could vote in any relevant gambling laws.
The first piece of legislation, the Casino Gambling Bill, may be proposed before the end of this year. The announcement that Tokyo is to host the Olympic games and the support for legalising casino gambling in Japan could be mutually beneficial. The country will need extra accommodation for the tourists and participants in the games and the construction of large casino resorts in Tokyo leading up to the 2020 games could provide this extra accommodation.It is thought at the moment that the Japanese government is thinking of granting only three licences for the construction of casino resorts. However, many international and some Asian casino operators are showing great interest in setting up in Japan once casino legislation is passed. Major United States casino groups such as MGM Resorts (MGM Grand Casino), Las Vegas Sands, Caesars and Wynn Resorts are all showing interest. Macau based SJM Holdings is also possibly looking to invest in this market.