Master Plan for Japan Casinos Expected to be Unveiled in August

Posted on: June 2, 2017, 03:00h. 

Last updated on: June 2, 2017, 03:31h.

Where the two Japan casinos will be built, how they will be taxed, who will be allowed in, and a slew of other regulatory stipulations will be revealed this August by a special commission in the country’s National Diet.

Japan casinos bill Shinzo Abe

All eyes of the gambling industry will be on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s National Diet when it reveals the regulatory structure for two Japan casinos. (Image: Toru Hanai/Reuters)

That’s according to GGRAsia, an online media source that specializes in Asian gaming markets, which spoke to a source with integral knowledge of the behind-closed-doors dealings.

Japan’s Diet, its legislative branch, passed an integrated resorts (IR) bill in December with the condition that a second, more comprehensive piece of legislation would be developed to cover all corners of gambling.

While the entire congress, consisting of 475 House of Representatives and 242 House of Councilor members, is drafting the blueprint, Japan’s Office of Integrated Resort Regime Promotion is expected to unveil the details this summer.

After the initial outline is presented to the public, a comment period will commence, though it’s unclear how long the feedback time might last.

On the Defensive

The Japan casinos are projected to create an industry that could generate as much as $25 billion annually in gross revenue. That’s why multiple international gambling companies, Las Vegas Sands, MGM, Wynn, Melco, and Genting, for example, had pledged investments of $10 billion or more should they be so fortunate to acquire one of the two coveted licenses.

Japan stands to make millions of dollars in tax revenue, and its economy will welcome the influx of new visitors. With almost $5 trillion in gross domestic product, the Asian country is one of the richest nations on planet Earth, but it’s predominantly a business-first region not known for its tourism appeal when it comes to entertainment and non-historical attractions.

While Japan will reap the benefits of the what the resorts sow, the government wants to do so in the most careful manner possible. With most of the population opposed to legalizing commercial casinos, preventing problem gambling is rumored to be the Diet’s utmost concern.

Crime is also near the top of the list. According to The Mainichi, a national daily newspaper in Tokyo, the Diet is laying out a stringent licensing review framework that will include a thorough investigation into those who wish to own and operate one of the IRs.

The government will also investigate shareholders of the parent company to make sure any potential unlawful beings are kept out of the market.

Office of Gaming

Like so many states in the US, Japan is also expected to create a special division to oversee and regulate gambling. Mainichi says that board will be called the Casino Management Committee, and will be tasked with screening each venue’s operations and financial reporting, and probe alleged breaches.

The Diet’s hysteria over regulating the gaming resorts is justified. With billions of dollars at stake and a predominantly wealthy population of 127 million, the stakes for the two Japan casinos are high.

Called the “holy grail” of gambling, more specifics of how the casinos will come into existence will be revealed in some 60 days.