A gradual shift from brick & mortar facilities to desktop and mobile devices has already been underway in recent decades, but one likely consequence of the Covid-19 lockdowns—in Japan and across the world—is that the older generations, who have been reluctant to embrace digitization, are now being forced to do so, and this is true of the Asian gambling industry as well.
Putting aside the question of whether or not Japan’s IR development will eventually proceed along the current policy lines or not, developments in the past weeks have made it increasing difficult to believe that the timeline will be maintained as currently planned.
This culminating situation in Japan is shaping up to be a perfect storm to foil Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s going-away party.
The long and winding Japanese Integrated Resort story resembles a daytime soap opera. At the rate the plot has been plodding along, It won’t be a surprise if it gives NBC’s Days of Our Lives a run for the money in terms of longevity.
Since the passage of the IR Implementation Act in July 2018, the question of whether or not the nation would really move forward with its IR development policy seemed to be definitely settled in the affirmative. However, a series of rather unlikely events in recent months may have reopened the possibility—even if a somewhat remote one—that Japan’s entire pro-IR policy could yet entirely collapse.
For many observers, Wakayama Prefecture’s bid to gain one of the three available IR licenses has looked like a long-shot, most of all because of the geography that places it so near the anticipated Osaka Yumeshima development.