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Japan Approves First Casino Following Legal Exception

Officials in Japan have approved moves to open the country’s first gambling resort, which will be opened in Osaka in 2029. 

In 2018 laws were passed to legalize casinos in Japan, which up to this point had been outlawed, and since then, there have been exceptions given to some games, including poker and baccarat, and now the country has moved to make more significant moves in the market.

This is in part down to Japan’s push to improve the financial state of the country and improve tourism. 

The casino project that has been planned is grand, to say the least. It will include a 5.3 million-square-foot complex comprising a hotel, shopping mall, and museum. The initial investment into the complex will cost around $13 billion. 

40% of the funding will come from MGM, while another 40% will come from the Orix Group, based in Japan. The remaining 20% will come from local companies. 

It is hoped that as many as 20 million visitors will come to the casino per year, which has been in the works for some time, delayed due to COVID-19 as well as a corruption scandal.

Japan is known for having a penchant for gambling, and a 2021 government survey found that as many as 2.8 million in the country had some form of gambling addiction. That represents around 2% of the population.

In order to address this, those visiting the casino will have to pay a 6000 yen fee for each day they spend at the casino, money which will then be used to aid those with addiction issues. 

As well as this, there will be a cap on how many Japanese citizens can visit the resort, while family members who are concerned about gambling addiction can ask for relatives to be banned from using the casino. 

The complex is set to be built on a man-made island that sits in Osaka Bay and is a result of an election campaign promise made by the ruling party, Nippon Ishin.

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