If Osaka Gov. Ichiro Matsui, Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto and their Osaka Ishin no Kai (One Osaka) members play their cards right, their gamble on casino legalization could hit the jackpot.
Over the past few months, the city has emerged as a favorite to become perhaps the first place in Japan to land a casino, if legalization succeeds. International casino resort operators have called on Matsui in particular, intrigued by the prospect of Osaka becoming the next major stop for international gamblers, or "gamers" if you prefer.
Just don't call them casinos anymore — "integrated resort" is the term of choice for businesses and bureaucrats eager to promote the massive gambling complexes lining the streets of Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Macau and Singapore.