The Japanese government plans to hold public hearings in nine cities to discuss the framework for the country’s nascent casino industry. The goal is to address public concerns about potential risks related to problem gambling and money laundering, reported the Japan Times newspaper.
The public hearings will take place between August 17 and 29. According to the Japan Times, such sessions will be held in: Tokyo, Osaka (pictured), Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Sendai, Sapporo, Nagoya, Toyama and Takamatsu in Kagawa Prefecture.
Yokohama – a main major metropolitan area often mentioned by investment analysts as a possible location for casino resorts – is not included in the schedule disclosed by the media outlet.
According to GGRAsia’s sources in Japan, the government and the governing party, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), have been discussing since the beginning of this year a measure specifically addressing problem gambling as a whole in Japan. On May 16, Japan’s ruling coalition completed drafting a gambling addiction bill.
Banking group Morgan Stanley suggested in a note in May that the passage of the gambling addiction bill by Japan’s parliament would be “a key indicator” for the opening of casino resorts in the country. There is so far no timetable for the bill to be debated in the parliament.
On Tuesday, Japan’s Office of Integrated Resort Regime Promotion – a body made up of professional civil servants advising the government on the Integrated Resorts (IR) Implementation Bill – delivered to the Japanese government a report featuring a set of suggestions on how to regulate the country’s casino industry.
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, according to several investment analysts covering the gaming sector. Such bill is an essential step as it will detail how casinos are to be administered and regulated.
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”We expect Goa to quickly become a US$1 billion market as it transitions to land-based casinos (from US$150 million today), which is still just a fraction of India’s total GGR potential of US$10 billion to US$17 billion”
Analyst at Union Gaming Securities Asia