Japan’s 2020 Olympic casino hopes could be over as lawmakers give up efforts to pass the Promote the Development of Integrated Resorts Bill during the current Diet session.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has decided to sacrifice the bill to make way for other bills, such as Legislation for Peace and Security.
In April, the LDP made one more attempt to bring up the long-delayed casino bill, with the hope that legislators would find time to discuss and approve it before the current 150-day ordinary session of Japan’s Diet ends on June 24. But the LDP failed again and there is no timeframe given for when the legislation might be reintroduced.
In 2013, Tokyo was announced as host of the 2020 Summer Olympics Games, which will bring millions of tourists to Japan. Abe saw this as perfect opportunity to bring the casino matter up for consideration, pointing out that casinos would further boost foreign visitors. This, in turn, would bring long-awaited economic growth.
Over the past few years, major casino corporations have been lobbying to get casino gambling legalized in Japan and the pressure remains for something to happen soon as it takes time for huge integrated casino resorts to be established.
But even if the the legislation doesn’t happen anytime soon, Japan’s casino industry will eventually contribute large amounts of money to the country’s coffers, create hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs, and annually draw millions of international tourists.