GMA interviewed by Akihabara News

Japan Seen Still on Track to “IR 2.0”

Despite setbacks linked to heavy regulation, the pandemic, and electoral politics, some experts within the gambling industry still believe that Integrated Resorts (IR) including casinos will have a bright future in Japan.

In an exclusive interview with Akihabara News, Brendan Bussmann, director of government affairs at Global Market Advisors, who has been tracking Japan’s IR policies for about seventeen years, predicted that the current policies will roll forward.

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GMA quoted in the Straits Times

All eyes on Tokyo after Yokohama IR pullout upends Japan’s plans

by Walter Sim

With newly elected Yokohama Mayor Takeharu Yamanaka having halted his city’s bid to host one of Japan’s first three integrated resorts (IRs), attention has now turned to what Tokyo might do.

Yokohama, a city of 3.7 million people just half an hour by train from central Tokyo, was seen as the regional “representative”. Its fervent interest in hosting an IR meant that Tokyo, the bustling capital of 14 million people, had stayed coy about its plans.

But murmurs are emerging among metropolitan officials that the capital city, having incurred massive bills for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, can benefit from the windfall of hosting an IR.  The waterside district of Odaiba has been floated as a potential site.

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GMA quoted in GGB News

Japan IR Race: All Over for Yokohama?

The Japan Times called it “a stunning political setback for Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on his home turf” – the election of opposition party-backed Takeharu Yamanaka as mayor of Yokohama.

Significantly for gaming giants Genting Singapore and Melco Resorts and Entertainment, Yamanaka’s win is also seen as the end of plans to develop an integrated resort (IR) in the prefecture. On August 22, the anti-casino candidate defeated seven others, including current mayor Fumiko Hayashi, who supported the IR campaign.

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GMA quoted on

Japan Casino Industry Could Be Smaller Than Lawmakers Originally Hoped

by Devin O’Connor

Japan’s forthcoming casino industry could be just a shell of the grand concept lawmakers envisioned when they passed legislation to legalize commercial gambling in 2018.

Japan’s lengthly process to bring the Asian nation casino resorts, paired with COVID-19, has resulted in little interest among the country’s prefectures and cities.  Local officials’ lethargy has subsequently extended to the major casino operators that once considered Japan the greatest opportunity since China’s Macau authorized new casino permits two decades ago.

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GMA quoted in The Nevada Independent

Indy Gaming: Arizona sports betting fuels the age-old question: ‘Will Las Vegas be hurt?’

by Howard Stutz

A few hours before Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers begin defense of their Super Bowl title on Sept. 9 in the traditional Thursday night start of the National Football League season, Arizona gaming authorities will flip the switch on the state’s legal sports betting apparatus.

More than a dozen operators are expected to go live – primarily through mobile platforms – as Arizona becomes the 23rd state to legalize sports betting.

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GMA quoted on WTTW Chicago

Big Vegas Gaming Operators Decline to Bet on a Chicago Casino

by Paul Caine

The odds of a Chicago casino actually getting built rely on whether or not major gaming operators want to take a bet on coming to the city.

This should been the week when the long-awaited Chicago casino project finally got up and running.

Monday was the initial deadline to submit proposals to develop the much-vaunted project – but after few bidders appeared interested – the city pushed back the deadline to the end of October.

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GMA quoted in GGR Asia

Three Japan IRs not a done deal, say observers

Japan’s national government might not grant three licenses for integrate resorts (IRs) in the country’s first phase of casino gaming liberalisation, say several industry observers in comments to GGRAsia.  That is after the election on Sunday of an anti-IR mayor in Yokohama, Takeharu Yamanaka, who said he would soon clarify that the city would not apply to join the bidding process to host a casino complex.

A maximum of three IRs are permitted nationally in Japan’s initial phase of market liberalisation.  Yokohama, near Tokyo, is Japan’s second-most populous city, and its likely withdrawl from teh IR race leaves three interested cities bidding for the same number of licenses.

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GMA quoted in Nikkei Asia

Yokohama mayor-elect deals Japan’s casino dream a fresh blow

by Eri Sugiura

The result of the Yokohama mayoral election on Sunday has cast another shadow over Japan’s ambitions to build massive casino resorts, a drive that was already under strain due to the withdrawl of interest by key foreign players amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Takeharu Yamanaka, a former professor at Yokohama City University, will become mayor on Aug. 30. On Monday he told news outlets he intends to make a declaration “at an early stage” that the city of Yokohama, next to Tokyo, will not apply to join the bidding process to host a casino.

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GMA quoted in the Las Vegas Review Journal

High tax rate, competition thwart Chicago’s casino plan

By Richard N. Velotta

If everything had gone according to plan, we would all be buzzing this week about which company would have the best opportunity to build a casino resort in Chicago.

But it hasn’t gone according to plan.

When Chicago started hearing crickets in response to its request for proposals, the city’s leadership hit the brakes and pushed back the deadline for responses.  Proposals now must be submitted to the city by Oct. 29.

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GMA quoted in Straits Times

Yokohama picks opposition candidate over Suga’s ally for mayor

By Walter Sim

Japan’s second-most populous city Yokohama elected an opposition candidate as its mayor on Sunday (Aug 22) in a major setback for Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga going into a general election later this year.

Mr. Suga’s Lower House constituency covers the bustling bayside city of 3.8 million people, and the repudiation by voters of his backed candidate on his home turf serves as a clear warning to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) that it will face a tough electoral battle in the months ahead.

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