A draft national basic policy on introducing casino resorts to Japan, approved by a meeting on Wednesday of the governing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), foresees such venues opening only in the “late 2020s”, according to information collated by GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent.
The main governing party explained that it assumes the timing of casino resort openings to be the late 2020s, taking into account the periods of time needed for environmental assessment and construction.
The government is expected to make a cabinet resolution on the approved draft next week at soonest.
In November, the prefecture of Nagasaki – a contender to host an integrated resort (IR), as casino complexes are known in Japan – had suggested that a casino resort there could be ready by the mid- to late-2020s.
Other possible contenders to host an IR include the prefecture of Wakayama, and the cities of Osaka and Yokohama. Up to three such venues will be permitted in Japan in a first phase of liberalisation.
Prospective host cities have first to choose private-sector operating partners, then apply to the national government for permission. The timetable for the latter part of the process has been in flux for months, amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
At Wednesday’s meeting, attended also by officials from the Japan Tourism Agency, a body under the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, it was also affirmed that the period in which the national government will accept for consideration IR plans from local governments would run from October 1, 2021, to April 28, 2022, which is about a nine-month delay from a previous timetable.
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