Japan has legalised gambling and plans to open the country’s first-ever casino

Japan is planning to build its first legal casino. The Japanese government has approved the controversial proposal and announced it will be open by 2029 in the western city of Osaka.

Casinos have been illegal in Japan for so long now. But a law passed in 2018 provided permission for some exceptions, like legalising games like baccarat or poker with the motive of creating employment and boosting tourism.

The opinion of the public is also varied, some said it will rise the crime rate and gambling can be addicted.

The complex is going to be 5.3 million square feet and includes hotel facilities, shopping malls, a museum, and a conference centre.

According to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, “we hope the plan of opening a casino will become a tourism spot and promote Japan’s charm to the world.”

A total of 1.8 trillion yen ($13.5 billion, £10.7 billion) were invested in the project at the outset, and each of the two major investors—the Japanese Orix Group and the US-based MGM—owns 40% of the business.

Local businesses, including West Japan Rail, Kansai Electric Power, and Panasonic of Osaka, would hold the remaining 20%.

A Japanese news service reported that according to estimates from officials, the resort will draw about 20 million people a year and generate about 1 trillion yen in economic benefits for the area.

The project was first suggested years ago, but it was put on hold because of the COVID-19 outbreak and a corruption incident involving a politician from the ruling party who was charged with collecting payments while overseeing casino policy.

The gaming market in Japan is thought to be promising. With a population of almost 126 million, it has the third-largest economy in the world.

Additionally, prosperous Asian gamblers, particularly those from China, are located nearby. The only Chinese city where gambling in casinos is permitted is Macau.

The Nagasaki prefecture has made a similar proposal to construct a casino in the amusement park Huis Ten Bosch, which is decorated in Dutch-themed architecture.

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