Japan’s first casino-resort could have a negative impact on Macau’s gaming market

Recently, we reported that Japan has chosen Osaka Prefecture to build a resort with an integrated casino. What if MGM Resorts International and ORIX’s mega-complex will relegate Macau, considered the “Asian mecca of casino gaming”, to the background, or at least overshadow it? This question is more legitimate than ever at a time when Japan has legalized gambling and even wishes to welcome at least two other international-scale complexes by 2035.

Legalization of casinos in Japan: what consequences for Macau?

In Macau, it is already thought that the Legalization of the Japanese casino gaming market will have a negative impact on the revenues of operators located on the former Dutch peninsula. Indeed, the leaders of the Chinese autonomous region fear that Japanese tourists will limit their trips to Macau… What could be more logical, given that the Japanese will finally be able to bet on blackjack, craps or roulette in licensed national structures?

Following Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s latest speech in which he announced that a hotel complex with an integrated casino was going to be built in Osaka Prefecture by MGM Resorts International and ORIXRyan Hong-Wai Ho, senior lecturer at the Center for Gaming and Tourism Studies at Macau Polytechnic University, said he disagrees with most claims that Japanese casinos will have a negative impact on Macau’s gambling industry. Indeed, he believes that the development of new casinos in Asia will have a positive impact on the global gambling industry in many ways.

“Japanese and Korean tourists are important for Macau”

According to Ryan Hong-Wai Ho, ” Japanese and Korean tourists are an important source of revenue for Macau, and are popular customers for operators in the Asia-Pacific region. The opening of a casino in Osaka could attract more customers from neighboring regions “.

The author of a study co-authored with Jenny Phillips called Macau 2.0: New Gaming Law and its Implications for Casino Market ended by saying, ” From another perspective, emerging casino gaming jurisdictions such as Japan and Thailand will attract a lot of talent with strong gaming management experience, as was the case when the gaming industry was liberalized in Macau. This can only be good for the global casino industry “.

For U Io Hung, president of the Macau Gaming Promoters Professional Association, the Osaka market, although for the time being limited to one gambling establishment, will be a strong competitor for Macaubecause tourism is already very developed in the third largest municipality of Japan.

For example, Osaka airport has many more flights in and out than Macau. Moreover, in general, tourists who visit Macau opt for short stays, while those who go to Osaka Prefecture spend a real vacation there, lasting several days or even weeks.

Kayleigh Williams