Proof of identity will be required for any customer of a Japan casino wishing to spend JPY300,000 (US$2,660) or more on gaming chips or other gambling tokens, reported on Wednesday the Mainichi newspaper, citing a Tuesday meeting of the so-called panel of experts advising Japan’s Office of Integrated Resort Regime Promotion. It was the 14th such gathering of the panel.
The news outlet said the buy-in threshold was aimed at preventing money laundering. It further reported that any customers wishing to exchange JPY1 million or more for gambling chips would have their details forwarded to a regulatory body – referred to in the report as a casino management commission – still to be established.
Confirmation of casino customer identity will also be required when an individual opens a customer account at a casino resort, makes deposits into such an account, or requests credit, added the newspaper.
The Mainichi further reported that a cap on the proportion of casino floor area allowed in any Japanese casino resort should be set at 3 percent of total floor area – as recommended previously but which the news outlet said had not been spelled out in the Integrated Resorts (IR) Implementation Bill, which passed into law in July.
The expert panel is also said to have recommended higher specifications for hotel rooms and suites for Japanese casino resorts than are typically found in Japan’s non-gaming tourist resorts.
According to the media report, the panel cited the minimum guest room space in gaming resorts in foreign countries as 40 square metres (430.6 sq feet) on average, about 1.4 times that in Japan. The average number of guest rooms at casino resorts overseas was said to be 2,495; about 2.7 times that found in existing Japanese resorts. The report did not however clarify what markets were used to make the comparison.
The proportion of suites in overseas casino resorts was said to be 19.2 percent of total accommodation, about 3.6 times that in Japan’s non-gaming resorts.
As many as three casino resorts will be permitted at yet-to-be determined locations across the country under a first wave of liberalisation. Some executives in the gaming industry expect the first casino licences in Japan to be issued around 2020 and the first resorts there to open around 2025.
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Hong Kong-listed gaming investor Suncity Group Holdings