IR bill taking shape, pachinko not seen in firing line

Japan’s government is unlikely to table a bill to restrict horse racing or its pachinko industry in tandem with regulation to introduce casinos into the country, Union Gaming said in a note.

The firm was responding to media speculation that the government would introduce new measures to be seen to be responding to problem gambling.

“Ultimately we believe the legislature has enough on its hands in the form of the IR bill and is unlikely to touch the existing frameworks of pachinko, horse racing, etc. Further, given that pachinko is a homegrown industry we are inclined to think it could actually get some form of legislative support (protection), especially in the context of the likelihood of foreign-owned IRs.”

The note added that the government has been introducing more stringent standards that have made pachinko more of a leisure pursuit and less like gambling with the gradual reduction in payout ratios. It said Dynam Japan, the focus of the research note, had been at the forefront of the industry in installing lower volatility machines.
It said Dynam, whose share price is up 22 percent since mid-January when it initiated coverage, is likely to be a strong contender for a regional smaller-scale IR, but not part of the two larger licenses expected for Tokyo and Osaka.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has begun the process of drawing up a bill setting out the details to regulate casinos, after enabling legislation was pushed through late last year.

So far, few details have emerged with the public focus remaining on alleviating problem gaming.


More news from this jurisdiction

JapanTuesday, Feb 20, 2018

George Tanasijevich, managing director of global development at Las Vegas Sands, recently presented a survey in central Tokyo, which for the first time, indicated that a majority of the Japanese public supports the establishment of IRs in their nation—at least when the question is asked in a particularly leading manner.

Philippines, JapanThursday, Feb 15, 2018

Universal Entertainment Corporation, operator of Okada Manila, recorded a net loss of JPY 13.4 billion for 2017 fiscal year, due mainly to an operating loss from its casino and resorts business.

JapanThursday, Feb 15, 2018

The government is gravitating toward a plan that would allow Japanese customers to enter the casino segment of an IR a maximum of three times per week.

JapanTuesday, Feb 13, 2018

The Osaka prefectural and city governments have decided to take a proactive approach to the issue of gambling addiction, wishing to promote themselves as the national leaders on this matter.

JapanWednesday, Feb 07, 2018

James Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International revealed that his company envisions building a relatively small casino that would be less than 2 percent of his proposed IR’s total floor area.

JapanMonday, Feb 05, 2018

On a night in which the conservative Abe government and its allies swept to victory across the board in several major local elections, incumbent Nagasaki Governor Hodo Nakamura trounced his single Japan Communist Party challenger.

JapanFriday, Feb 02, 2018

In spite of setting up a project team last July to coordinate its intra-party policy, it is apparent that opinions within the ruling coalition Komeito party remain divided, even as the submission of the IR Implementation Bill likely draws near.