THE M3: VISITOR ARRIVALS; UPDATE ON JAPAN GAMING; CHANGI AIRPORT TRAFFIC

The Macau Metro Monitor, April 23, 2013

MACAU VISITOR ARRIVALS DSEC

Visitor arrivals increased slightly by 1.6% YoY to 2,387,281.  Mainland visitors totaled 1,431,810, with 40.7% travelling to Macao under the Individual Visit Scheme.  The average length of stay of visitors stood at 1.0 day.

THE M3: VISITOR ARRIVALS; UPDATE ON JAPAN GAMING; CHANGI AIRPORT TRAFFIC  - MACAUV

JAPAN CASINO LOBBY IN LEGALIZATION PUSH; MARKET COULD OUT-STRIP VEGAS Reuters

The cross-party casino group aims to submit a promotional bill to parliament in the autumn, which could be followed by concrete laws within two years, said Takeshi Iwaya, the deputy head of the lobby of more than 100 lawmakers.  The group will introduce Hiroyuki Hosoda, a veteran LDP lawmaker and former chief cabinet secretary, as its new chairman at a meeting on Wednesday.  Hosoda will have the ear of the administration, an important piece of the puzzle that has been lacking in recent years, Iwaya said.  Popular Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has indicated he is open to the idea of casino resorts.

"You need both sides of the equation before things really get moving. We want to make that happen this year," said Iwaya, whose group is proposing an integrated resorts model that incorporates tourism, conventions and entertainment, as well as casino gambling - an approach based in part on the strategy adopted by Singapore when it opened its first casino in 2010.

Yet many analysts remain sceptical there is enough political support.  An attempt to introduce a casino bill last year to help fund rebuilding of the earthquake-hit northeast fizzled in the face of the December poll.  One potential complicating factor is the Japan Restoration Party, formed last year by popular Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, which has said it may introduce a bill on its own even though its lawmakers are members of the cross-party group.  

Casino legislation could be submitted around September after an upper house election expected in July.  At the very least, a bill would face resistance from the Communist and Social Democratic parties, both of which worry about crime and other harmful side effects on society.

CHANGI AIRPORT TRAFFIC Changi Airport Group

Number of Changi passengers rose 7.7% YoY in March.

THE M3: VISITOR ARRIVALS; UPDATE ON JAPAN GAMING; CHANGI AIRPORT TRAFFIC  - chn