Japan’s casino legislation could be delayed until 2018


japan-casino-legislation-delayJapan’s secondary casino legislation isn’t likely to appear in public until August at the earliest, and it likely won’t come up for debate in the legislature until next year, according to government officials.

On Thursday, GGRAsia quoted a senior official at the Office of Integrated Resort Regime Promotion saying an outline of the Integrated Resorts (IR) Implementation Bill wouldn’t likely be made public before August, after which will follow a period of indeterminate length to allow the public to submit comments on the bill’s contents.

Last December, Japan’s Diet approved legislation to scrap the constitutional ban on casino gambling. The country must now approve a second bill spelling out the nitty gritty of casino details, including how many integrated resorts will be permitted and where they will be located.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had previously suggested he wanted this secondary legislation approved by the third quarter of 2017. But Japanese media reported that the public comment period could extend through year’s end, which would push legislative debate on the bill into 2018.

On Wednesday, the Yomiuri Shimbum reported on this week’s government discussions regarding the casino license vetting process, which is reportedly being modeled on systems in existing gaming jurisdictions including Nevada and Singapore.

The government plans to create a Casino Management Committee – which will have ample representation from officials on loan from the National Police Agency – to handle screening and investigation of casino license applicants, with particular emphasis being placed on weeding out anyone with suspected connections to yakuza organizations or any other “antisocial” groups.

A separate group of ministers has been tasked with the Promotion of Countermeasures on Addictions of Gambling, which aims to develop procedures for minimizing the potential harms that the introduction of gambling could inflict on this already addiction-prone population.