Prime Minister Shinzo Abe proposed casino legalization for Japan in 2013, prompting unprecedented excitement among gaming companies across the globe. After a nearly a decade of delays, diffidence and grassroots dissent, Japan has two bids for three licenses, with leading casino companies and top tourist destinations, including Tokyo and Hokkaido island, choosing to pass. Across the board efforts to curb Japan casino enthusiasm have been breathtaking.
Former US diplomat and broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is Asia editor at large at ICE 365, a contributor to Forbes, columnist for Asia Times and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about TV news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook, Twitter @MuhammadCohen and LinkedIn.