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The Macau Metro Monitor, April 5, 2012

AMUSEMENT GIANTS TO PUSH FOR CASINOS IN JAPAN? InterGame

The major daily newspaper, Asahi Shimbun, reported that Sega had purchased the Sea Gaia resort in the Miyazaki prefecture.  The 700-hectare property, which houses a major hotel, tennis courts, spa and golf course, was owned by a foreign consortium but has operated at a loss.  Sega has bought the property for 40 billion yen and there were questions on the casino prospects to which representatives of Sega responded that the deal had not been conditional on casinos becoming legal in Japan or that the resort would obtain a licence.  However, they said that when casinos are legalized, they would consider it carefully.

Meanwhile, according to the newspaper, Sega continues to build on its casino investments in other countries where they are permitted.  The publication also noted that Konami had approval for the manufacture of casino slots as far back as 1996 and will therefore be ready to supply machines once casinos are permitted in Japan.

On March 31, the chief secretary to the Ministry of Tourism in Japan said casinos would help to stabilise the Japanese economy after the natural disaster of last year and help create a fund for special relief measure.  An all-party bill is expected to be presented to the Japanese National Assembly before April 2013, which will demand the approval of a resort casino "as an exception."

Many of the less wealthy Japanese cities and prefectures have cited an interest in such a project, although the National Assembly is likely to choose initially between Tokyo and Osaka as a location.  Other cities and prefectures that have indicated interest in the project include Kanagawa, Wakayama and Okinawa.