Japan to establish casino regulatory body as Yokohama advances plans

Japan is to establish its Casino Administration Committee next year as the country emphasises that its land-based industry is to have the most stringent regulations in the world, reports Inside Asian Gaming.

After a number of concerns caused a delay to the original date of establishment that was set for July 1, 2019, the regulatory body is to commence operations on January 7, 2020.

The committee is to have oversight of casino licensing and operations, and is set to be comprised of one committee chair and four members, who will serve terms of five years.

The group will be responsible for a plethora of administrative procedures, including revoking licenses when violations of the law have incurred.

Afforded full review and regulatory powers to uphold the strict standards, the Casino Administration Committee is utilising leading global casino jurisdictions, such as Nevada, as a reference point for how background investigations will be conducted, which included background checks for key personnel.

This comes as the city of Yokohama officially launches its RFC process, with the region vying to secure one of three highly sought after licences that are to be awarded to host one of Japan’s first integrated resorts.

Proposals for those seeking to develop an IR located at the city’s Yamashita Wharf area are now being accepted, with overseas operators and Japanese developers able to submit until late December.

It is said that Yokohama is to use proposals and hearings as reference materials to draft an implementation policy by 2020, with it hoped that a chosen operator will be appointed by 2021 and the IR in question opening by the late 2020s.

Should the Japanese city of Yokohama triumph in the race to secure one of three integrated resort approvals up for grabs, it will come at a huge cost for operators, it was reported earlier this year.

A request for information conducted by Yokohama City revealed that capital investment could reach JPY 1.3tn (US$11.9bn).