Olympics is about celebration of human potential through discipline, dedication, perseverance and positive mindset. To quote the history from olympic.org “Olympics aimed to show the physical qualities and evolution of the performances accomplished by young people, as well as encouraging good relations between the cities of Greece.”
On the other end of the spectrum is belief in “chance”, luck, the world of odds and probability to strike it rich at a gambling table. The article is not to criticize Casino culture but a discussion which is taking place in the Japan Parliament for the past few months.
In the spotlight is the Casino Bill which will allow Casino establishments in major Japanese cities prominently Tokyo and Osaka. More so, its about Tokyo due to the potential to milk the visitors and locals during the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said that legalizing casino gambling is a pillar of his plan to revive economic growth and Casino operators including Las Vegas Sands, Genting Singapore, MGM Resorts and Melco Crown Entertainment are more than happy to oblige with investments. Although various Governors of Tokyo had been generally supportive of introducing Casinos, current Tokyo Governor, Yoichi Masuzoe, who took office in February, however, said in June that pursuing a casino was “not at the top” of his agenda given the effort he is putting in ensuring the success of the 2020 Olympic Games.
If we keep economics and finance out of the equation and concentrate on the basics behind Olympics in terms of “Why are we doing what we are doing”, Olympics with a rich history of human “desire” to excel and quick money in a Casino due to “destiny” seem to be at odds. Although Japan may eventually pass the Casino Bill tying it to the Olympics timeline is a amusing.
With 59% of the respondents to an Asahi Shimbun survey not in favor of Casinos in Japan and the ruling party LDP also putting it on back burner, Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics seems set for a Casino-less event on similar lines like the 1964 event. If the event was a success in 1964 without Casino’s around, it can be in 2020 too.