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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 June 20 - 26  > 70% of casino profits in Japan may go back to overseas casino owners
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2018 June 20 - 26 [POLITICS]

70% of casino profits in Japan may go back to overseas casino owners

June 26, 2018

The question a Japanese Communist Party lawmaker raised at a Diet committee meeting has illustrated the possibility that 70% of casino profits in Japan may go into the pockets of overseas casino owners.

JCP member of the House of Councilors Daimon Mikishi at an Upper House Budget Committee meeting on June 25 asked about a casino-centric integrated resorts (IR) implementation bill which will legalize commercial gambling and betting for the first time in Japan's history.

The Japanese Penal Code prohibits gambling in Japan but treats publicly-owned competitions such as horse racing and "keirin" bicycle racing as an exception to the ban on gambling. "This is because," Daimon said, "these public games' operators are not allowed to make personal gains."

Therefore, Daimon asked for confirmation, "What are the reasons that the government has been permitting only public gambling operated by public organizations?"

Justice Minister Kamikawa Yoko answered that it is because they distribute the profits for public benefit.

The casino bill will require commercial casino operators to pay 30% of gross profits to the central government and casino-hosting municipalities. However, at the same time, it will allow the operators to take 70% off the top.

Daimon cited the latest accounting report of Las Vegas Sands (LVS) Corporation whose owner and CEO is Sheldon Gary Adelson, dubbed the king of casinos, who desires to run casinos in Japan as well.

LVS between 2012 and 2017 returned to its shareholders about 1.8 trillion yen or 15.9 billion dollars from profits made mainly from its casinos in Macau and Singapore. Of the dividend, 70% went directly into the pockets of the Adelson family.

Daimon said, "In short, the bill will allow overseas casino capital to rip Japanese customers off and take most of the profit made in Japan to a handful of families. Where is a public interest in that?"

Past related article:
> Casino bill steamrollered through Lower House committee [June 16, 2018]
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