Japan Casino Management Commission Coming in January, Federal Agency Will Monitor Integrated Resorts

Posted on: October 21, 2019, 03:19h. 

Last updated on: October 21, 2019, 03:33h.

The Japan Casino Management Commission (CMC) that will regulate the country’s forthcoming commercial gaming industry will be revealed on January 7, 2020.

Japan casino management commission
Japan casino schools are open for business, as the country inches closer to becoming a commercial gambling market. (Image: Asia Gaming Brief)

GGRAsia, an online media outlet focused on gaming matters throughout Asia, relayed the information from Japan’s federal government that details specifics on the approaching announcement.

The CMC will consist of five members, and will be an independent agency under Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet Office. The commissioners will be appointed by Abe and need to be confirmed by the National Diet – Japan’s version of Congress. The members will serve five-year terms.

The CMC will be tasked with monitoring operations at each of the three Integrated Resort (IR) casinos, and handle security matters, including background checks for employee licensing. The agency will additionally be responsible for developing and implementing safeguards to limit gambling addiction.

Chain of Command

Japan passed its IR Implementation Act in July 2018, and released a draft version of the industry’s basic policies last month. The final procedural laws that will detail the bidding and licensing process, as well as the rules that the casinos will need to be abide, is expected in 2020.

In the country’s “Basic Economic and Fiscal Management and Reform 2019” document published in June, Japan explained that the “Casino Administration Committee will be instituted to address various concerns over casinos and ensure the highest level of casino regulations in the world.”

The Casino Administration Committee will be staffed with roughly 100 employees, and will also be an external bureau of Abe’s Cabinet Office. The agency will be responsible for awarding the three licenses.

“Measures to address problem gambling issues will be implemented vigorously and comprehensively,” the reform adds.

Casinos remain unpopular among the general public because of concerns the venues will lead to elevated instances of problem gambling. In an effort to keep those who can’t afford to lose out of the multibillion-dollar resorts, Japan’s casinos will levy a ¥6,000 ($55) entrance fee on locals, and limit the number of times they can access the properties.

Site Prep

There are eight prefectures or cities interested in becoming home to a casino resort. Last summer, the National Diet explained that the Japan Tourism Agency will be responsible for identifying the three winning locales.

Casino operators are long underway in prepping their bids, partnering with Japanese companies to form consortiums to pitch the eight potential hosts.

The casino consortiums will essentially need to win twice. They’ll first need to be picked by the city and prefecture government, and then be approved by the Japan Tourism Agency.

“You have to win twice in Japan,” MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren said recently. “There will only be three in Japan, which makes this so provocative and interesting for companies like ourselves and our worthy competitors.”

In terms of gross gaming revenue, Japan is expected to become the second or third-richest casino market in the world, behind only China’s Macau and potentially Nevada.