In July of 2018, lawmakers in Japan approved a bill to legalize casino gambling in three different cities. It was a historic step for a country that’s long-banned virtually all forms of gambling. Many companies are now working to gain a foothold here, MGM Resorts being one of the biggest.
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MGM Resorts in Japan is now getting a huge boost courtesy of the MLB.
News was reported this week that the MLB had named MGM Resorts as sponsors for the 2019 Opening Series taking place in Tokyo. It’s a huge move for this company to gain a presence in what may be the hottest new market in Asia. Let’s look at the state of Japan’s casino industry, and how this MLB sponsorship will help MGM Resorts.
Japan’s Casino Industry Still in Its Infancy
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Japan approved plans for legalized casino gambling in July of 2018. There are still several steps that need to be taken before any construction of casinos can begin here. Some of the top gaming companies in the world including MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts, and Las Vegas Sands Corps are looking for a stake in the market.
Japan has already implemented a number of restrictions on the casino industry. They banned Macau-style junket operators, they limited locals to three casino visits per week and ten per month, and they called for a $53 tax for locals to enter casinos inside the country. The government here is still deciding on which companies to grant licenses for casino operations.
Casino construction will likely begin by 2025. The majority of Japanese lawmakers are still against the idea of legalized casinos, and it will take some time before a green light is given for these establishments to begin running. MGM Resorts earning an MLB sponsorship here is a massive step forward for this company to earn a license.
MGM Resorts in Japan Gains Big Foothold with MLB Sponsorship
MGM Resorts is now the official title sponsor of the MLB’s Opening Series. The first games of the 2019 MLB season will take place between March 20th-21st in Tokyo, Japan. MGM Resorts will put on a number of fan events outside the arena.
The MGM logo will also be featured on the jerseys of the players.
MGM Resorts CEO gave his take on this new sponsorship by stating, “We are very excited to partner with MLB and the MLBPA to deliver a one-of-a-kind fan experience that celebrates baseball in Japan. We look forward to giving fans a unique experience to participate in baseball activities in and out of the Tokyo Dome.”
The ability for MGM to market their company during the MLB’s opening day is massive. The MLB is one of the most popular sports leagues in the country. It’s possible that this marketing push could allow MGM to be one of the first companies to earn a license in Japan.
MLB Opening Series in Japan
As we mentioned before, the Opening Series of the 2019 MLB season will be taking place in Tokyo. This series will feature both the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners. These AL-West teams looked solid last year.
A number of baseball betting experts are listing both the A’s and Mariners as potential dark horses to win the World Series this season.
There are already a number of MLB betting experts predicting the outcome of this series. The A’s ended 2018 with a slightly better record at 97-65. The Mariners ended last year with an 89-73 record.
Two of the Athletics starting pitchers are sitting out due to injury. There’s a good chance this will hurt them against Seattle.
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The Mariners recently signed Japanese pitcher Yusei Kikuchi in a move to significantly improve their offense. Mike Leake is an absolute force for Seattle, as well. None of the top online sportsbooks in the US are offering odds for these games yet.
It seems likely that the Mariners will enter as the slight betting favorites.
MGM Resorts in Japan is getting a massive push with this MLB sponsorship. It could allow them a foothold in the Japanese market and earn them the first casino license in the county.
Do you think MGM Resorts will operate a casino in Japan by 2025? How much will this sponsorship help their chances? Make sure to let us know what you think in the comment section below!