A blow has been dealt to the progression of Japan’s proposed integrated resort developments, after it was revealed that the initial proposed date for the establishment of the country’s Casino Management Board is to be pushed back, reports Asia Gaming Brief.
The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe revealed the delay recently, which could see the ruling party not take up the IR issue once again until early 2020, which also pushes back the issuance of further specific bidding regulations, with only three licenses to be initially up for grabs.
As a number of global casino resort organisations begin to deepen proposals to cement their place within the country, Abe cites concern of the Japanese public, and the still hostile opinions that still exist regarding the legalisation of casino gambling, as the primary reason for the delay.
The Casino Management Board was to be established under the IR Implementation Bill, consisting of five members and operating under the umbrella of the Cabinet Office.
It has previously been stated that they will oversee IR operations, possessing the power to suspend or terminate licenses should violations of law come to the fore.
Areas of oversight set to be included are operator finances and management, investigation of possible criminal connections of executives and their family members, money laundering countermeasures, and appropriate policies to deal with gambling addiction.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party are said to be cautious about the timing of the announcement, more importantly the public attention that will now be focuses upon the IR issue, which it believes could negatively impact electoral prospects, with the House of Councillors elections on the horizon.
News of the delay could be a particular blow for Osaka, whose plans for its anticipated Yumeshima destination included a grand opening in time for the 2025 World Expo being hosted in the region.
It is hoped that through passing the integrated resorts implementation bill, a greater number of international tourists will be attracted to Japan, helping to achieve the government’s objective of attracting 60 million inbound visitors by 2030.
Japanese nationals will be charged a 6,000 yen ($55) entrance fee for casinos and face limits on the number of visits, while foreign visitors will be able to enter free of charge.