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Travel & Leisure

Foreign casino operators fault uncertain rules for Japan pullout

Withdrawal of US operators points to dimmer prospects for gambling market

Gamblers play slot machines in Las Vegas: High-profile U.S. casino operators Sands and Wynn Resorts have given up plans to expand in Japan, citing regulatory snags.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Multiple foreign casino operators are canceling or putting on hold plans to enter Japan, moves that underscore grimmer prospects for a market that many industry insiders once thought might become the world's No. 2 casino destination after Macao.

Big players, in their latest earnings calls, blamed uncertainty in Japan's regulatory environment, including high taxes and onerous requirements for proposed resort sites. The guidelines on resorts were supposed to be out by January but have yet to be published.

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