A Model Casino Law for Japan

Eugene Martin Christiansen, Anthony N. Cabot, Beverly Zou


Casinos are legal in nearly every country in the world. Japan is the largest remaining noncasino market. Japan has been debating whether to permit casinos for years. Successful integrated resorts (IRs) could significantly stimulate tourism and Japan’s economy. Experience elsewhere, however, has shown that IRs are risky investments for both the owners and the government. In this case, the Japanese market’s great size and the massive IRs it would support raise both the potential benefits and risks for the Japanese government. We demonstrate that the casino law Japan adopts will largely determine whether its IR industry succeeds or fails. We review the successes and failures of the large, diversified, and capital-intensive casinos in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Macau, and Singapore. From a statistical analysis of casino economics in these gaming markets, we derive the essential elements of a successful casino law in Japan. This paper provides recommendations on laws, regulations, and related matters, which include the goals, requirements, and approach to IRs the Japanese government should consider in drafting an IR law.

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