Japan Draft of Second Casino Bill Begins
Japan-based news source Jiji Press has reported that Japanese lawmakers have begun work on the country’s second gaming bill. The bill is said to address the regulatory framework for the country’s new gambling industry as well as decide on the number of licenses to be issued and select locations for its proposed casinos. The tax scheme to apply to all new casino operations will also be outlined in the new framework set by the bill.
The meeting of the government’s gaming task force held its first meeting to address the new bill earlier this week, where Japan’s President Shinzo Abe addressed the attendees, stating, “To realize clean casinos, we will introduce regulations at the world’s highest standards and develop a system to properly enforce them.” He reinforced the legislation’s desire to create experience-centric venues and offer an approach to the industry that the country can support, adding, “Through those measures, we aim to create attractive Japanese-style integrated resorts.”
Task Force Assembled
Attendees appointed to the task force come from a number of government agencies, and include accountants, lawyers, economists and experts fields relevant to gaming and its regulation. Should the task force complete its mission within the designated time frame, a completed bill is expected to be submitted for review as early as this fall.
The framework expects casino operators to be decided by 2019, while analysts put the projections for the first casinos to open their doors around 2021. Investors from around the world are doing quick work to ensure they’ll have some skin in the game when it comes to this untapped market. Those interested include renowned casino operators Las Vegas Sands Corp., Wynn Resorts Ltd., MGM Resorts International, and Genting Singapore plc, just to name a few. Sheldon Adelson of Las Vegas Sands Corp. reportedly stated his interest with the promise to invest an astounding $10 billion for a foothold in the Japanese market.
Local governments are already taking steps towards making their own regions more attractive to potential casino operations once the bill is passed. Osaka Prefecture is one such region that has already erected its own task force charged with attracting investors and creating policies that will address responsible gambling, according to the Japan Times. In regard to responsible gaming, President Abe also had words for the task force, stating,
“We need to introduce casino regulations of the highest global standards, and take every measure to address various concerns such as addiction, money laundering, and what effects it might have on young people.”
Japan-based Slots creator Konami has expressed its interest in the market. However, the company holds many licenses globally and has stated it cannot risk being associated with a market that requires anything less than the best when it comes to regulation.
Combating Problem Gambling
Japan, along with Singapore, has looked to South Korea following a piloted program to address problem gambling. Legislators and operators believe will be a real boon in combating problem behavior. The program in question is one that actually pays problem gamblers to stay away from betting venues. Each day these participants receive the equivalent of $45 for simply not gambling. So far the program has been a success, with a spin off program that players can opt into to keep their casino visits per month capped at a certain amount.
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