Japan’s New Casinos Could Impose Taxes on Gambling Winnings of Foreign Visitors

As Japan prepares to offer casino gaming, the government is trying to decide how the new industry should operate. Just a few days ago, it was made known that the government wants to impose a gaming tax system where foreign visitors must pay taxes on their winnings. Officials want the system to be similar to the temporary income option associated with horse racing.

If the plan comes to fruition, the new casinos, which aren’t even built yet, would have to record purchases of gaming chips of every individual. This could be done at the table as well as within the cash cage. The chip count would then be compared when the chips are redeemed, and a tax imposed on the surplus amount. The rate for such as a tax has yet to be determined.

The Japanese government also wants to make sure that a tax is paid by foreign gamblers on their winnings before leaving the country. Once a player is out of the country, collecting such taxes would be difficult. This practice is not uncommon and something that is already in play within other markets like those in South Korea and the United States.

If the tax proposals are approved, they would be incorporated within the tax reform package for the fiscal year 2020. The reforms would not come into effect until April 2021. While this is relatively soon, the casinos in Japan are not expected to go live until the middle of the new decade.

The current plan in the country is to allow for three integrated casino resorts, with the process to begin in January 2021. However, some government officials want to see the tax framework decided before anything can advance, which would mean more of a time delay. The idea is that without the tax framework set, the decisions of operators to invest would be affected.

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