Osaka governor Ichiro Matsui said a casino resort could open in the Japanese prefecture by 2023, if the country’s parliament is quick to approve the necessary legislation.
“Discussion of the legislation has been delayed a little bit, but discussion on the contents of the Liberal Democratic Party [LDP] and Komeito bill has now wrapped up. So it will be passed in the Diet,” Mr Matsui was quoted as saying by the Japan Times newspaper.
“Under that assumption, we want to realise a casino resort in fiscal 2023, or by 2024 at the latest,” the governor reportedly added.
The second piece of legislation needed to create a casino industry in Japan is expected to reach the country’s parliament today (Friday).
A statute making casino gambling legal in Japan came officially into effect in December 2016. A second piece of legislation – the Integrated Resort (IR) Implementation Bill – now needs to be approved detailing the specifics: how casinos are administered and regulated; the taxation regime to be applied to them; and the number of licences to be issue.
Earlier this month, it had been reported that the governing coalition – the LDP and its partner Komeito – had reached consensus on all 11 key big-picture policy areas regarding creation of a casino industry, including an initial cap of three casino resorts nationwide.
“If the bill becomes law as quickly as is possible, we’ll promptly draw up a schedule to open up the facility,” Mr Matsui reportedly said. It has been reported that, if approved, a casino resort in Osaka would likely be developed in Yumeshima Island (pictured).
Banking group Morgan Stanley says the broad regulatory framework for Japan so far agreed between the governing coalition was “better than feared”. A number of industry voices have suggested that it could be the year 2025 before the actual launch of a casino venue in Japan.
On Wednesday, Fitch Ratings Inc said aggregate annual casino gross gaming revenue in Japan may not exceed US$6 billion “after taking into account regulations being considered by lawmakers”.
“This is well below consensus estimates, which are generally above US$10 billion, and is at the low end of the US$6 billion to US$9 billion range that Fitch had previously estimated,” the ratings agency said in a press release.
Fitch said its estimate factors in approximately US$3 billion of annual gaming revenue for one large-scale casino resort in a major metropolitan area and two remote resorts with annual revenues of about US$1.4 billion each.
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