Casinos and gambling are no strangers to Japan, although under other guises. Pachinko, boat racing, horse racing and a variety of other ways to wager are widely known. The key is to do so in a more world class legitimate way, and has a sense of style for the international visitor. The trends of gambling revenue out of Macau now, currently 7 times more that Las Vegas, make the former gambling mecca, seem weak by comparison.
The social ills around gambling are also going to be discussed and aired. The trouble with what is happening in Japan, is what is already here. The internet does not have a border patrol. Internet or online gambling is possible for anybody to do at home today, no matter where they live in Japan. A casino per se, will not stop this problem from coming here. Investment banks and other investors will try to balance any P/L revenue captured into the country, compared to overseas revenue already lost online, both now and in the future.
There should be Japanese equities that will benefit. Real estate firms, construction companies, recruitment services for staff, cleaning services and even security services for the cash on site. Domestic or international hotel groups will all be trying to bid for the casinos. Some may all be worth investing into. It is just another boost to stocks within the Abenomics recovery plan. The Olympics can certainly build economic momentum over time.
How the government can justify the new gambling revenue will be key. How this is done at a reasonable cost to the society will be curious to see played out. Korea has not faired well with its casino town, and a busted strategic plan, and leaves many lessons to not repeat once Japan takes the final step forward. The Olympics, is indeed a great opportunity, but there are still many steps needed to be solved with local lobbies on the way.
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