Japan is to establish a particular oversight body for its nascent casino industry with effect from July 1 next year, it was announced on Wednesday.
A body referred to as the casino administration committee will initially have 95 staff and be an external bureau of the Cabinet Office.
It will reportedly be in charge of casino regulation, including licensing control, probity and background checks, but will not be involved in day-to-day oversight of casino operations. The industry’s operational phase will not be for several more years.
The information about the new body was given in the national government’s initial budget submission covering financial year 2019, GGRAsia has been told by local sources.
A cost of JPY6 billion (US$53.7 million) was mentioned in relation to establishing the casino administration committee, although it was not clear if that was a one-off expense to set it up, or reflected some form of annual running cost.
Japan’s parliament – currently in recess ahead of an expected extraordinary session in the autumn and winter – approved in July the Integrated Resorts (IR) Implementation Bill, the second of two pieces of enabling legislation.
It was recently reported that in early August, Japan’s Office of Integrated Resort Regime Promotion – known as the IR Promotion Secretariat – held briefings for officials of those local governments interested in hosting one of the up to three casino resorts that will be permitted in that country in a first phase of liberalisation.
The three briefings were reportedly closed to the media. The Nikkei news outlet reported that representatives from a total of 40 local governments attended the sessions.
It added that the briefings mostly dealt with an explanation of the IR Implementation Act and procedures to establish such venues and how local authorities could go about getting to the request for proposal stage.
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China