Wynn Resorts is competing against the MGM Resorts International and Las Vegas Sands for two expected urban gaming licenses in Japan. The same licenses may be sold off by the end of 2019, offering over $20 billion in gambling-related and non-gambling profits. Because of the size of the potential prize, the competition for the first two positions is expected to be more than fierce. Steve Wynn, the famous casino magnate has named Yokohama, Tokyo, and Osaka as the most viable locations.
These are expected to handle the nation’s first casino resorts that are fully integrated. Wynn further explained his position in a Nikkei Asian Review interview, saying that these ventures have to be in a city and a country with enough support. The same support relates to recruiting and training staff, having access to needed supplies and everything else required for highest quality gaming resorts. According to him, the three mentioned cities are such places. Wynn Resorts company is currently split between operations in hubs like Macau and Las Vegas but is also developing a new location in Boston.
There, in the summer of 2019, the company plans to open the Wynn Boston Harbor resort that will cost an estimated US$2.4 billion. Wynn also stated that the Japanese Diet role will be crucial in determining the future of the nation’s gambling market. According to him, regulations and state’s rules related to gambling make the difference between failure and success. Wynn sees the government as a necessary parent in this type of business. In its designs of laws that regulate gambling, a government can either support building great success stories in this business or it can make it a lot more difficult.
This includes tax rates, regulations and things impacting construction, all which, according to Wynn, make a strong effect on building and operating a gambling business. He praised the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, the Macau’s regulatory body for casinos, as being a very positive force. Thanks to its help, the VIP casino market was able to flourish. The market’s strength was recently demonstrated because it was not even impacted by the Chinese anti-corruption push.
According to him, this regulatory body became very experience after a decade in licensing and investigating people in this business. Particular VIP junket individuals failed to qualify because of lack of money. Others failed because of their associations. The ones who survived were financially strong and went through careful investigation. All this led, according to Wynn, to a strong and healthy business in Macau.
Timeline for Japanese Regulation
Last year, the Japanese Parliament passed the first law from a two-bill package that will eventually provide full-scale legalization of gambling resorts. However, it is not certain that the second bill, named Implementation Act, will be implemented before the end of 2017. This act aims to regulate key aspects of the gaming industry. These include the cap on a number of licenses that will be awarded, locations of the resorts, level of foreign involvement and gambling tax regime.
But first, the Parliament has to agree on legislation related to gambling addiction and only then can the Implementation Act be approved. Morningstar predicts that this additional legislation will be approved by the end of 2017. It also predicts that the second bill will go through in 2018.
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