Australian businessman James Packer’s hopes of opening a casino in Japan before the Olympic flame reaches Tokyo in 2020 may be quashed as Japanese lawmakers postpone gambling legislation negotiations.
Packer’s Hong-Kong listed joint venture, Melco Crown said it would invest up to around $6 billion in a Japanese casino if the government passed laws legalising casinos, SMH reported.
“We will continue to explore the opportunities that may arise in Japan, should the country decide to develop integrated resorts to compete for tourists on the world stage,” Packer said.
The legislation was slated to be debated in the next session of parliament but has been indefinitely postponed, with lawmakers planning to push back the vote.
Reuters reported there was a “considerable chance” that casino operating laws for Japan won’t be a topic of discussion during next year’s parliament either.
There is potential for a $17 billion gambling market if Japan legalised casinos, according to analysts.
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