Posts Tagged ‘Shinzo Abe’

Japan must get real about casinos, opponents

June 22, 2017

Failure to agree on a gambling addiction legislation earlier this month is another indication that Japanese officials haven’t gotten serious about casino legalization. They seem convinced public opposition to casinos will evaporate.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes, editor at large for Inside Asian Gaming and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Japan casinos face defining questions

April 19, 2017

While the global casino industry giddily dreams of integrated resort locations, why Japan wants casinos and what will make them Japanese loom as defining issues.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes, editor at large for Inside Asian Gaming and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Japan engaged to be engaged on casinos

January 21, 2017

Lawmakers in Japan voted to start casino legalization, but there’s a long road ahead, with lots of exit ramps.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes, editor at large for Inside Asian Gaming and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Japan casinos still can’t get to first base

February 29, 2016

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party has taken Japan’s integrated resorts bill off the table for the current Diet session. Conditions seem right for casino legalization in Japan, except crucial national politics.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes, editor at large for Inside Asian Gaming and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Japan casino prospects fade despite good cards

February 27, 2015

Reasons for Japan to legalize casinos keeping growing along with the country’s burgeoning debt and quarter century long economic malaise. Yet Japan casino legalization seems less likely than a year ago, international observers say. Supporters in Japan remain optimistic, and a study of potential casino impacts has been commissioned – maybe.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Japan vote could boost casino hopes

December 13, 2014

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to legalize casinos for Japan as part of his economic revival plan known as Abenomics. In Sunday’s vote, his Liberal Democratic Party’s expected landslide victory could give new momentum to casino legalization, but only if Abe and his allies begin convincing the Japanese public that casinos are a good idea.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Japan casino gold mine may not pan out

August 28, 2014

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government is forming a task force to rekindle enthusiasm for its integrated resort initiative. However, casinos in Japan may prove less lucrative than international gaming companies seem to believe.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Japan tiptoes toward casinos

June 20, 2014

Legislators took another small step toward legalizing casinos in Japan this week. Backers hope so-called integrated resorts will open in time for the 2020 Olympics, but the political and bureaucratic process will be a marathon, not a sprint.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Japan shuffles toward legal casinos

December 9, 2013

The land of the rising sun is the land of rising hopes for the world’s casino industry. As I wrote in Whale hunting, Japan style (see page 86), the world’s third largest economy is the last great frontier for gaming, and virtually every casino company in the world wants to be in it. Macau casino companies keep upping the ante, with spending pledges for a Japan project reaching $5 billion.

The article in the October issue of Macau Business points out there’s already a well-established market for gambling, including pachinko parlors with illegal payoff windows next door, Yakuza-run remote broadcast of live casino games from legal gaming jurisdictions, and the world’s most heavily bet horse racing.

For years, Japanese politicians have said that it’s time to make casinos legal, most notably Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who promised to push for casino legalization during his previous, truncated term succeeding Junichiro Koizumi in 2006. Last week, his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) introduced casino legislation, and the long anticipated bill is widely expected to pass. This time, casinos are packaged as part of Abenomics, the prime minister’s plan to reform Japan’s economy and lift it out of its quarter century long doldrums.

The draft casino bill outlines a multilayered process for bringing casinos to Japan. The national bureaucracy will draft the rules, while local governments weigh whether they want casinos in their jurisdictions. Against the promise of investment, jobs and (mainly domestic) tourists, there’s the perception of gambling as a seedy activity, embodied by pachinko parlors with their legacy of money laundering, drugs and bribery. Japan’s National Police oppose casino legalization, along with some civic organizations, Buddhist groups and fringe opposition parties.

Gambling also has a reputation for government boondoggles, embodied in overbuilt publicly funded speedboat race courses and overstaffing at horse tracks. A government sponsored theme park construction initiative, with similar goals to casino development, fizzled into a puddle of wasted public money.

Mix in Japan’s inherent social conservatism, and, despite politicians’ support, casinos face an uphill fight. The seven year tease for the world’s casino companies may be over soon, or it may have only just begun.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.


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