Floyd Mayweather to launch Japanese casino empire
newsonjapan.com -- Nov 26
There has always been a common link between dazzling casinos and high-profile sports matches.

The connection has now been given more legitimacy thanks to the news that Floyd Mayweather has plans to establish a casino empire in Japan – and use his rivalry with Manny Pacquiao as the inaugural match. The casino industry is doing well and Japan recently relaxed legislation on allowing casinos, so it's the opportune time for Mayweather to take advantage and lay the foundations of his anticipated casino empire.

With strong links to promoters and the interest of local talent already piqued, could Mayweather use the launch of his ambitious casino to challenge Manny Pacquiao to a rematch?

Japan to Host Mayweather's Casino Empire

The match would surely draw a lot of attention – and see people dig deep into their pockets to predict the outcome. Their rumble back in May 2015 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas grossed around $600 million. TV networks took in $400 million, while Pacquaio bagged more than $160 million. Billed as both the 'Fight of the Century' and 'the Battle for Greatness', a rematch five years in the making is far enough away from the original event to have even diehard fans speculating on what the outcome could be. Having planned to fight since around 2009, when the pair finally landed in the ring in 2015, the overly defence-orientated strategy of Mayweather and an undisclosed shoulder injury from Pacquaio, left many feeling disappointed. A chance at a redo could be the perfect event to kick off Mayweather's Japanese casino empire.

Mayweather launched TMT (The Money Team) Japan in Tokyo in June 2019 following a successful partnering with management company Libera and Kyoei boxing gym. Mayweather has set his sights on a corner of the market that seems to be growing - casinos in Japan - with his goal of establishing a casino hotel in Okinawa. The boxer aims to be able to benefit from some of the new legislation in Japan to build a casino resort in Okinawa. Given his desire to create an empire, it's likely that, should the hotel go-ahead, Mayweather would seek to expand the venture throughout the country, or further in South East Asia. The boxer is reportedly also buying a house in Japan to help achieve his goal. The desire for a rematch is so strong that Mayweather even halted another exhibition match so he could focus on winning over Pacquaio to take part. Hopefully, negotiations occur quicker than they did for the last one. Meanwhile, Mayweather has turned his interest into exhibition fights with people not known for boxing – from Conor McGregor to Japanese martial artist Tenshin Nasukawa.

But why is Mayweather so keen on launching a casino empire in Japan? While Japan isn't exactly well known for casinos and boxing bouts, changes are afoot that may change entertainment in the land of the rising sun forever.

Casino Soon to Be Big in Japan

Hong Kong promoter Jay Lau claimed that Mayweather's plan was to take advantage of the rise in casino opportunities in Japan over the coming year. Lau claims that the casinos opening in Japan – as well as Cambodia and China– will mean that boxing grows in popularity. He suggests that the Pacquaio rematch is “the biggest thing that can happen.” Indeed, the race for casino dominance in Japan is heating up due to a multitude of factors. July 2018 saw Japanese lawmakers approve a bill that would allow a casino industry in the country. The Japanese government announced in February 2019 that they would be facilitating the opening of a series of casino hotels in the first wave of the regulation being relaxed. These hotels would offer some of the biggest conference rooms and event spaces seen in the country. These would face severe competition in the South East Asian market from similar casino resort hotels also opening in Macau, Singapore, and South Korea. Visitors will be charged 6000 yen per visit ($50) and locals will be only allowed a set amount of visits per month, which would help keep the prestige factor of the establishments. So far, three licenses have been released for casinos, with eight areas, including Osaka, Tokyo, and Yokohama.

The casino industry on the whole is doing well, so it makes sense for Japan to finally lift its ban to take advantage. Indeed, reports indicate that the global gambling market will be worth around $94.4 billion by 2024, a huge rise from the $45.8 billion it was worth in 2017. This rapid expansion shows that there is enough economic possibility in the decision to see Japan flourish in the sector. Indeed, several well-known casino providers including MGM, Galaxy Entertainment, and Genting Group have already petitioned for the licences in Japan. As worldwide travel is at an apex, offering such resorts to visitors will likely help reposition the country for those looking for an entertainment break, as well as to see historic sights and tourist landmarks. The relaxing of legislation and the rise in global gambling means that it is the perfect time for Mayweather to attempt to launch his casino empire in Japan.

How is Online Casino Faring in Japan?

Online casinos in Japan are also affected by the new regulations. Existing regulations, unrelated to the 2018 physical casino push, make it acceptable to indulge in a variety of online gambling games – from horse racing to the national lottery, motorsports, mah-jong, and pachinko. Casinos – both land-based and those located purely online – have a huge market of potential customers to tap into, so how they attract players is important. That's why hosting a huge boxing event such as the next Mayweather vs Pacquaio fight would be a huge coup for the gambling empire Mayweather hopes to launch, as punters will likely be enticed through the event to visit the casino floor. Online casino has another method of attracting customers, including offering no deposit bonuses and even a free bonus or two to help customers find their feet on the site before they commit to playing fully. The welcome bonus is a staple of casinos around the world – and online – and shows goodwill from the provider that they value the custom of the player. In such a competitive industry, this can help a site stand out from the crowd.

Indeed, boxing is growing in importance in Japan – especially with calls to include boxing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games. So it makes complete sense that boxing legend Mayweather would choose the recently deregulated Japan to launch his empire. As he plans an eagerly-anticipated rematch with Manny Pacquaio, and also teases matches with non-boxers from the field of martial arts, Japan looks to be the breeding ground for a new approach to the sport.

News source: newsonjapan.com
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