The junior coalition partner in Japan’s governing grouping is to call for a casino daily entry fee four times that already proposed, and which would be on a par with that charged in Singapore casinos for 24-hour access, reports the Jiji Press news agency.
The Buddhist-influenced Komeito is said to want a JPY8,000 (US$76) entry fee for 24-hour access to the country’s proposed casino resorts. Singapore charges SGD100 (US$76) for the equivalent access period.
In late February, it was reported the Japanese government had proposed a JPY2,000 casino entry levy for 24-hour access to gaming venues, to be payable by the country’s nationals and residents. The parliamentary caucus of the largest governing bloc, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), had raised no objections to that.
The proposed higher casino fee was said to be based on a draft report prepared by Komeito, said the news agency.
“It is extremely important to gain understanding from a wide range of Japanese people by introducing casino restrictions to the world’s best standards,” the Komeito draft said as quoted by Jiji Press.
The draft document was also said to call for so-called integrated resorts – large-scale venues with gaming, entertainment and conference facilities – to be limited to two or three locations in the country. The media report about the Komeito document did not clarify whether that was a reference only to a first round of liberalisation, with venues in other parts of the country to be allowed later, as envisaged by the pro-casino lobby.
A report from within the LDP ranks is said to have proposed as many as five casino resorts in a first wave of liberalisation under the Integrated Resorts (IR) Implementation Bill.
Komeito’s draft is said to back the government’s plan to limit casino visits by Japanese to three times a week and 10 times per month in aggregate. The LDP wants a less-restrictive rule.
Komeito’s draft is also said to call for an absolute upper limit of 15,000 square metres (161,459 sq feet) for the “gaming area” of a resort.
Jiji Press said additionally that the introduction of the IR Implementation Bill would not happened until at least April because the coalition needed to reach consensus on the various issues.
The current session of the Japanese parliament is due to end on June 20.
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