Legislation to legalize casinos in Japan may have hit a snag in the current legislative session, but that didn’t deter Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe from his fact-finding casino mission in Singapore.
Abe arrived in the country to deliver a speech at a regional defense and security conference but found time to go around Singapore’s two casinos, touring Marina Bay Sands with chief executive George Tanasijevich. Abe surprised tourists in the infinity pool on the resort’s rooftop by showing up dressed to the nines with a horde of media members in tow. From there, Abe went to Genting’s Resorts World Sentosa to check out the competition.
Abe’s Singapore visit coincided with Japan’s casino legislation hitting a snag, raising concerns that the bill won’t be passed in time for the end of the current session. But the prime minister isn’t sweating the delays, even if it could ruin chances of casinos being up and ready in the country in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Delays notwithstanding, Abe remains confident that the country will eventually legalize casinos, telling Japanese media that “integrated resorts will be a key part of Japan’s economic growth strategy.”
Sources told Reuters that there’s still a chance the bill will be passed this year. “It’s logistically difficult for it to pass in the current session,” a source told the news agency. “I would say it’s highly likely to pass in the fall.” However, skeptics have voiced fears that the fall session’s abbreviated timeline won’t be enough to iron out the details.