Japan's New Tax Break for Foreign Players at IRs Highlights a New Economic Priority

Published December 17, 2020 by Lee R

Japan's New Tax Break for Foreign Players at IRs Highlights a New Economic Priority

Tax exemptions for foreign players are emerging worldwide as a means of attracting foreign tourist revenue.

A new tax amendment has been introduced to the Japan IR landscape that will incentivise foreign players to visit and play.

Non-Resident Tax Breaks

Spearheaded by a prominent member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Japan regulators pronouned that non-residents will be exempted from tax obligations on any prizes they may win at the nation’s three scheduled integrated casino resorts.

The Project

Kyodo News reported last Thursday that Akira Amari is leading his party's Tax System Research Commission project, with the measures to be included in the coming fiscal package scheduled for 2021.

New Project Schedule

The 2021 schedule may be available as soon as this week. The priorities of the approach for the year are supporting the prominent IR projects in Japan to attract new visitors, in a jurisdiction whose iGaming revenue model will be based on a foundation of IR operations.

Japan Nationals Take the Hit

The opposite side of that coin of course is that Japanese nationals are going to get socked with a tax at IRs similar to the one they are subjected to when betting on horseracing in the country. Clearly, the favorable terms for foreign nationals represent a greater method of attracting tourism to the economy as well.

Basis for Prioritisation

Japan's new economic solution for iGaming operations follows an attempt last year to determine the feasibility of casino punters paying a duty on the difference between the value of their purchased chips and the amount they convert back into cash.

The idea was rejected due to concerns about deterring vital foreign visitor segments.

Party Position

Amari summed up the concern succinctly:

“It would be meaningless if no-one comes to the integrated casino resorts after building them.”

Global Tourist Competition

This adaptation in Japan highlights the ongoing battle for tourist dollars which all countries are ultimately engaging in.

Exemptions Elsewhere

Kyodo further reported that many other countries are already extending similar tax exemptions to foreign players in key iGaming jurisdictions including Singapore, Germany, Macau and the United Kingdom.

Other countries such as the United States and South Korea maintain modest withholding systems for similar gains.


Look for more tax breaks for foreign players across more jurisdictions as countries worldwide seek to address the economic shortfalls of the times.

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