Posts Tagged ‘Japan poker rooms’

Japan Floats Weird Rule for Poker Rooms

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

japan-poker-room-rulesJapan was flirting with a poker ban in their upcoming land-based casinos.¬†They’ve since ditched this idea, but lawmakers have floated a strange rule for poker rooms.

Japan already has legislation in place that covers their casinos. But the government is currently hashing out a separate bill that would cover poker and other gambling related details.

The strangest rule that’s been proposed is one that would ban acquaintances from playing at the same poker table. The idea is clear: they want to prevent colluding among friends.

But it seems nearly impossible to identify friends and enforce this rule. After all, acquaintances can just pretend like they don’t know each other.

American poker rooms have tried to prevent buddies from sitting together in the past. But the same venues have given up on the concept for multiple reasons.

As mentioned above, it’s nearly impossible to enforce such a measure. Furthermore, keeping friends from sitting at the poker table limits the game’s appeal.

Why did Japan Want to Ban Poker?

japan-poker-roomsJapanese lawmakers didn’t offer a concrete reason on why they wanted to ban poker while allowing casino games. Perhaps they thought that it would be more difficult to monitor poker compared to house-banked games like baccarat, blackjack, and craps.

Another potential reason why is that poker doesn’t bring in the same type of revenue as traditional casino games. Therefore, government officials may have thought that it would’ve been easier to just ban the game altogether.

In any case, Japanese lawmakers have dropped the idea of banning poker from their new regulated casino market. This means that both locals and visitors will be able to enjoy poker in Japan’s multimillion dollar casino complexes.

Why did Japan Decide to Allow Poker?

According to the The Mainichi, the government liked the idea that casinos could host major poker tournament events. In turn, this figures to attract more tourism from other countries.

Anybody who’s watched the growth of poker in Europe, Asia, and Australia can understand how tournaments help tourism. This is especially the case with the World Series of Poker Europe, which draws thousands of players from around the globe.

As for Japan’s casino market, their “integrated resorts” are designed with tourism in mind. Foreigners can get into these complexes for free. Meanwhile, locals will need to pay an entry fee, much like Singapore imposes in their casinos.

PokerStars gets Far Prettier with Yuiko Matsukawa Signing

Friday, March 20th, 2015

yuiko-matsukawa-signs-pokerstarsDoes PokerStars have a Japanese schoolgirl fetish? Sure seems like it because their latest Team PokerStars addition is model Yuiko Matsukawa, whose schoolgirl photos and other modeling work are plastered across the net.

This is quite an interesting signing because Matsukawa has no live-tournament cashes; instead, it seems like she just started playing poker since she was spotted at the Macau Poker Cup before landing a sponsorship deal. However, it’s pretty clear that Matsukawa wasn’t signed on her poker merits.

Instead, this is your perfect example of a poker site signing a good-looking woman who brings more to the table than just a couple big live-tournament victories. Matsukawa furthered her fame by starring in a film called “Terrace House Closing Door,” which centers on a fake reality show involving six men and six women. Given the 24-year-old’s fame in Japan, this fits in well with what PokerStars is trying to do in Japan: get ahead of the market before the game is legalized.

In previous years, it seemed like there was no chance that Japan’s relatively traditional society would ever embrace casino gambling/poker games. This is, after all, the country that inspired the Last Samurai, a movie about a bunch of late-nineteenth-century, stubborn-assed samurais who refused to trade in their swords for guns, ultimately meeting their demise after charging a Gatling gun head-on.

yuiko-matsukawa-signs-pokerstars-1Of course, this isn’t to say that casino gambling is the Gatling gun and all Japanese are stubborn samurais for refusing to embrace the activity. But it’s pretty clear that their prime minister, Shinzo Abe, sees the value in legalizing casinos and not just relying on a bunch of pachinko machines to drive gaming revenue.

So by signing Matsukawa and their previous additions to Team PokerStars, Naoya Kihara and Kosei Ichinose, PokerStars is doing a great job at appealing to the large potential Japanese poker market before anybody else gets a chance.