Work is now due to begin at national and local government level in Japan to implement public policy measures to tackle what is termed “gambling addiction”, after the upper house of the country’s parliament passed on Friday a framework bill on that topic.
It had widely been reported previously in Japan that enactment of the measure – known as the Basic Bill on Gambling Addiction Countermeasures – was a necessary step before the process to create a legal casino industry could be completed.
According to information compiled by GGRAsia, the statute in question requires the central government to prepare the basic outline for gambling addiction measures and local governments to prepare the execution plan regarding such measures.
The bill was passed after discussion on Friday at a plenary session of the House of Councillors, the senior of the chambers in Japan’s two-house parliament.
The bill and the policies to be developed under it, cover not only casino gambling but also pachinko and certain spectator events on which wagering is currently allowed.
Following passage of the anti-addiction framework, it is expected that Japan’s parliament will soon start discussion of the Integrated Resorts (IR) Implementation Bill in a committee of the upper house, with a view to forming a resolution on the measure by July 19, before the current, extended, sitting of parliament comes to an end on July 22.
The House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Japan’s parliament, passed on June 19 the IR Implementation Bill.
If the IR Implementation Bill gets the nod in the current session, a number of industry executives expect the first casino licences to be issued in around the year 2020, with the first resorts to open for operation in circa 2025.
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”We are still interested in pursuing a casino opportunity in Japan”
Arnaldo Ho Yau Heng
Director and assistant chief operating officer of Sociedade de Jogos de Macau SA (SJM)