Despite reports that it won’t likely come up for debate until next year, Japan’s second casino legislation is steadily taking shape.
On Wednesday, Asia Gaming Brief reported that the Experts’ Committee has approved several new proposals for the Integrated Resorts (IR) Implementation Bill, including the creation of a “Casino Management Board” as an external bureau of the Cabinet Office.
Another proposal, also approved by the committee, is that “there would be only a single, tightly secured casino,” with a total floor space not exceeding 3 percent of each integrated resort’s total area. The casinos will be allowed to offer slot machines, card games and roulette, among others, but betting on sports events and online gaming will be banned.
A separate group of ministers has been tasked with the Promotion of Countermeasures on Addictions of Gambling, but the Experts’ Committee also included several measures to address the potential harms that the introduction of gambling could inflict on this already addiction-prone population. The proposals include requiring Japanese nationals to buy their casino chips with cash as well banning ATMs and the use of credit cards within the casino facilities.
The Experts’ Committee will meet again to tackle measures against money laundering at Japanese IRs, according to the report.
It was earlier reported that the government also wanted 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.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe previously suggested he wanted the secondary legislation approved by the third quarter of 2017, but reports indicated that an outline of the 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.