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Foreign casino operators go all in as they vie for Osaka license

By Thomas Wilson and Mari Saito

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I forsee a rise in certain of social problems coming soon.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

So all this fuss about casinos and the money is going to go to some billionaire somewhere. Osaka people will just get the 900/hour salaries for the staff.

"It's natural that we need to be fully open, and make sure that citizens have no doubts about unfairness or corruption," Matsui said.


12 ( +15 / -3 )

Sheldon Adelson, met Matsui in September.

The billionaire gambling czar who's influencing Trump's Middle East policies. He's got the GOP, the party whose primary purpose is to ensure laws and legislation are passed and kept in place to benefit America (and certain 'foreign' countries) richest people, backing him.

Curious to know what all Trump and Abe have agreed to behind closed doors while noshing well-done hamburgers.

Ako Shiraogawa, Melco's Japan president, told Reuters she reassured local officials the donations were not meant to curry favour. It was a coincidence that Ho met Osaka's Matsui before the fireworks display, she said."It looks like we are doing too much," Shiraogawa said. "But it just happened to be the same day as the festival."

Random happens, but in this case I'm going along with the old saw 'there are no coincidences'.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

A resort would create more than 80,000 jobs a year in the region, officials say

I thought Japan has a shortage in the workforce. Importing care workers, demolition crews, Fukushima clean up people and so on. I guess working in a casino is more appealing to Japanese than caring for its senior citizens, the ones who busted their buns to give younger generations an economy and helping those homeless due to natural disasters.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Never have I heard so many "donations" mentioned in one article. We all know what they really are, fat brown envelopes passed under the table.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Won't be getting my money, that's for sure.

0 ( +0 / -0 )



Call it luck but yesterday I was just seing a report on sudden government move against Pachinko.

I don't know in Japan, but in France when you read those two articles, this means, gambling is about to become a big trade in your economy and firms bought the government utilities to get ride of competitors in place to make bigger bucks by taking their gamblers. As you can guess, Mafia loves loosing their easy money.

What Osaka should worry about is about the mafia's crime coming with Casino and Gambling. There are not Tv fiction and high criminality always come around them like legends.

It is still a nice and easy way to clean dirty money. Only state's gambling is barely able to keep clean hands.

Sometimes when you are the only one on a list, it is just because this is the next death list warrant.



-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I’m not buying that half of Osaka people ar opposed to Casinos due to “addiction and corruption concerns”.

Thats basically NHK and other media believing their own articles and conducting their own polls and posting them.

I hear the government trying to logically explain to me how a casino maaaay be kind of bad in Japan for us Japanese, while here in Osaka we have pachinkos everywhere.

We also got horses, boats, and cycling races (that I know of). Am I really suppossed to believe that because some people want to portray it as foreign and bad that it is different than anything else?

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

If you fly into Kansai International and get a bus towards Kobe, it takes you along the Osaka bay without going into the city center. I've not done it for twenty years, but back then at least, it was the most depressing part of Japan I have ever seen. Much worse than any concreted beach. Just miles and miles of petrochemical plants and silos with public housing blocks right next to them. Yumeshima is one of several landfill islands off there. I think the city still has huge debts from the development. One of them has a wacky gomi burner that looks a bit like a Gaudi creation on it. The area was the site for Osaka's failed Olympic bid, whenever that was.

If you live in Kansai and think the Tempozan aquarium or that APC Hotel/shopping complex are out of the way, Yumeshima will be another branch line off there. I wouldn't be surprised if the casino just runs courtesy buses from Umeda and Minami.

I suppose they already have the Suminoe boat racing to waste their money on, but the casino will be near lots of Osaka's less well-healed residents.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Still, with a four-fold surge in foreign tourists over the last five years - more than 11 million people visited Osaka in 2017, attracted by its rich culinary culture and wealth of nearby sights - casino operators see a fertile market.

It would seem that the Japanese believe all foreigners are avid gamblers and are going to be busting down the doors to get into their casino. They are using Macau as their example, but Macau has a lot more to offer than just casinos. What does Osaka have to offer? A castle and Okonomiyaki? They set up those stupid regulations of residents having to pay to enter and limited visits per month. I can definitely see these regulations being dropped within the first year of opening the casino because their idea of all foreigners being addicted gamblers is false and they are not making any money. Gambling is supposed to be illegal in Japan, but the amount of gamblers in Japan is on par with other countries.

Another way to look at it is, they set up these restrictions for residents to protect them from gambling addiction, but they are relying on the gambling addiction of foreigners to keep these places afloat. This could be construed as another form of foreigner exploitation by Japanese.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Just visited in-laws in Osaka from Tokyo. It is such a nice, livable city compared to Tokyo. People were friendly, many new highways and less crowded trains? What the hay am I still doing in Tokyo?!!! I think new casinos will make Osaka even more attractive and worldly, and diversify the economy.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I thought Japan has a shortage in the workforce

The 2.4% unemployment rate tells me otherwise. That 3,048,000 million people.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Caption below Matsui photo:

"The envelope was this big!"

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I was talking about the Casino issue with my Barber the other day... I'm amazed at the way the Japanese think of the Casino business. There is a perception by the Japanese that Casino style gambling is much worse than other forms of gambling. All forms of Betting with money with the possibility of both winning or losing is gambling. You could be betting on Bicycle racing or at the Craps table.... you win or you lose. One the Barber's arguments was that these Casino's would cost the taxpayer's money. I'm sitting there as he has a razor to my throat and wanted to laugh at that but thought better of it. How? How could a privately funded Casino cost any taxpayer money? Even if the Casino goes bankrupt in a few years it will have provided a lot of economic stimulus to the local economy just in the construction alone. Me... I want Casinos.... mainly because I'm hoping they'll have Las Vegas style entertainment too. Give me an adult place where I can enjoy myself with some class. Well.... hopefully they're done in a classy way... but this is Japan and I've got to think they'll do it right.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Good to hear the casinos are progressing along nicely. The restrictions on Japanese visits but unlimited access for foreign tourists is a very nice idea, sure to increase receipts from this massive tourism boom we are suffering from while also keeping it at a distance

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The Best Sites for the Three Casinos in Japan to Attract Foreign Patrons are:

Osaka, Fukuoka and Naha. Why?

Accessibility. The three Japanese Casino Cities have ocean ports to accommodate ocean liners and are in proximity to the Asian Casino market which includes Korea, China, Taiwan, Philippines, and Southeast Asian countries.

Lower Costs. Casino gamblers do not like to play in only one casino. Having all three casinos in relatively close proximity will allow travel companies to package all three locations on reduced costs. More visitors for each location will be the result.

Community Support. All three Japanese locations are generally in support of economic stimulation and job creation and are therefore more open minded and receptive of the gaming industry. If these casinos are successful in stimulating the local economies, Japan then can move forward to consider additional casino sites on its Eastern shores and areas. Tokyo, Yokohama and other major sites do not now have the community support and the costs to win the populace over will be too great and contentious.
2 ( +3 / -1 )

If they do open a "Casino" then they need to make laws like Singapore has. Each resident of Japan who enters the casino has to register and pay a fee each time. Hopefully that will weed out heavy gamblers.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"Horse sense" is what keeps horses from betting on people. -- W.C. Fields

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I would love Kyoto to be included in list for one of the three Integrated Resorts. Kyoto has a Huge tourist boom, but lacking hotels. An Integrated Resort would privide thousands more hotel rooms, attract more tourists and business, more entertainment and restaurants, and massive economic boom to the city. Win for everyone.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Just keep the "maybe's" and the "donations" coming hey guys?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Osaka isn't a good choice, considering Yamaguchi Gumi, Japan's largest Yakuza HQ is in Kobe around the corner..

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If you really want to win the hearts and minds of the local people then pay the workers a minimum of 1,500-2,000 yen an hour. Better yet make all the resort jobs unionized.

I bet these mega-billion dollar casinos would do it, even reluctantly, if it meant getting an OK for their casino hotels.

Osaka should use its leverage to better the situation for its people.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I always love the “We will not approve the plan without the support of the community,” then, “We plan to make the community understand and get support,” and then it’s done anyway despite the majority being against and acknowledgement of social problems, etc. this is a done deal, make no mistake, and society’s decline will speed up even faster with this massive push. Get ready for Japan’s ranking in safety and supposed social morals to plummet, and crime to rise exponentially. This will not help the average Joe in any way, either.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Should be interesting watching the battles between the Yakuza and Chinese triads play out.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I hope Osaka loses its bid to host the Expo 2025 because of this. Looooots of big business have been investing in it and are against the casino. The Expo committee has said Osaka can’t host if it builds a casino. A lot of people want Expo, and by a casino. It’ll be interesting to hear Abe “convince them” when they’ve lost their investment but the yams and government is getting its own.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"...42 percent of residents are opposed to a casino over fears of gambling addiction and less than a fifth are in favour..." Another example of democracy in action.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Win win for everyone. Should be a big attraction also for neighboring Asian countries who come to Japan anyways for the sightseeing and shopping.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@matth Should be interesting watching the battles between the Yakuza and Chinese triads play out.

Look a little more closely at the American 'organizations' trying to get a foothold in Japan and how they've worked with both groups you mentioned. Then look at the most powerful politician in DC who has previously owned casinos and the relationships he's had with a broad range of similar 'organizations'. This where the US needs strong intelligence agencies to keep tracks on 'organizations' like these. And their kingpins.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Las Vegas Sands = Sheldon Adelson = Donald J Trump = Shinzō Abe

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just gentrified bribes.  Whoever gets this concession is going to make a mint.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Certain criminal organisations renowned for elaborate tattoos will love this... even though they probably already run illegal casinos anyway.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The mass media going on about gambling addiction concerns made me bust up laughing. Japan already has gambling venues at major sports and and let's not forget the pachinko junkies. It sounds like a weak excuse by someone in power who does not want casinos because they will lose a slice of the pie.

At least where I'm from in the U.S., casinos are like resorts--they have spas and restaurants, shows, and they cater to an entirely different (wealthier) clientele than pachinko. They're careful about security so it's not like public safety goes bad around a casino, perhaps the opposite actually.

Personally I'm not a gambling person but these flimsy excuses make me suspicious.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Fouxdefa: "Personally I'm not a gambling person but these flimsy excuses make me suspicious."

I'd agree with you if the majority of people were not against these, too. A Yak group planned to built a pachinko parlor in my city, which had none previously, a few years back and the people banded together and prevented it. Then the owners shrugged and said they were going to Osaka Prefectural law, not Municipal, and built it anyway. Land value has dropped, and the place is basically a trash heap on all sides.

Osaka is going to become crime capital of Japan, easily.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As an annual visitor to Japan (and I've been to Osaka a few times), I certainly wouldn't make a visit to a casino any part of the reason for my trip. I've been to Las Vegas and Atlantic City, in the US (not Macau), and my visits to casino resorts and hotels involved fabulous shows and good food, not gambling. If I want to gamble, I'll buy a cheap lottery ticket and dream.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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