The likely outline of taxation and duties to be imposed on a Japanese casino industry was the latest discussion topic raised by the country’s Office of Integrated Resort Regime Promotion – known as the IR Promotion Secretariat. The body is made up of professional civil servants advising the government on the IR (Integrated Resorts) Implementation Bill.
The suggestions preceded Tuesday’s sixth-round meeting of a panel of experts advising the Secretariat.
The Secretariat indicated three forms of levy were likely: a tax raised as a percentage of casino gross gaming revenue (GGR); fixed dues for a casino licence; and variable dues to cover costs such as background checks on would-be industry participants.
Money raised from a GGR tax was likely to be divided equally between the central government and local ones, according to GGRAsia’s correspondent.
It is understood that the percentage level of GGR tax would be determined not by the Secretariat, but decided after what the body deemed “wide ranging” public consultation. That GGR tax would then be set out in the IR Implementation Bill.
The government and the Secretariat have made frequent mention of Singapore as an important reference point regarding casino regulation.
The city-state levies 15 percent gaming tax on mass-market play and 5 percent on VIP play – plus 7 percent Goods and Services Tax in both cases, compared to Macau’s effective tax rate on gross gaming revenue of 39 percent.
No information was available following Tuesday’s meeting of experts regarding the likely level of fixed duties on a Japanese casino industry, or the likely bands applicable for variable duties.
The Japan Times mentioned in a Tuesday report that some money raised from the casino industry would go towards measures to combat compulsive gambling by individuals.
It is likely to be August at the earliest, before the Secretariat will make public the outline of the IR Implementation Bill – a statute containing specifics including how casinos are administered and regulated – reiterated GGRAsia’s correspondent following Tuesday’s meeting of experts. The Secretariat would launch a public consultation once the draft bill was publicised.
Under a best-case scenario, the IR Implementation Bill might be passed by the country’s parliament in the 2017 extraordinary session starting in the autumn, suggested a note in May from banking group Morgan Stanley.
But following a recent Tokyo election setback for the national governing party, the Liberal Democratic Party – a proponent of casino legalisation – a Wednesday note from brokerage Union Gaming Securities Asia Ltd said building parliamentary consensus on the IR Implementation Bill would be “tough over a short time-frame”.
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”Everybody would like to have clarity about the [Macau gaming licence refreshment] policy”
Ambrose So Shu Fai
Chief executive of casino operator SJM Holdings