Japan’s central government says it has appointed Takuya Sakaguchi as secretary-general of the Japan Casino Regulatory Commission, the body responsible for overseeing the country’s nascent gaming industry.
The appointment, announced on Tuesday, will be effective from July 4, according to information collated by GGRAsia’s correspondent in Japan.
Mr Sakaguchi, a former member of Japan’s National Police Agency, is currently the casino commission’s deputy secretary-general. He will take over the secretary-general role from Minoru Namiki.
The Japan Casino Regulatory Commission has been allocated JPY3.62 billion (US$25.1 million currently) by the national government in its organisational budget for its financial year 2023. That was a nearly 3-percent increase compared with the financial-year 2022 budget.
The casino commission has just over 160 staff. The body’s costs regarding the establishment of an “organisation to supervise casino operators and others” are expected at JPY370 million.
The cost to “conduct examinations of casino operators and others to check the suitability for granting casino licences,” is put at JPY220 million.
It is unlikely any casino resort will become operational in Japan before the end of the current decade.
The Osaka authorities hope to open an integrated resort (IR) with a casino in partnership with United States-based gaming operator MGM Resorts International and Japan’s Orix Corp in 2029. MGM Resorts has described the scheme as a “US$10-billion” project.
Osaka’s IR District Development Plan was approved in principle in April by the national authorities, with just under 66 percent of the available assessment points.
The governor of Osaka prefecture said in May the local authorities and the MGM Resorts-Orix consortium would have ready by September in draft form a project implementation agreement for the casino resort scheme.
Nagasaki’s IR District Development Plan, which was submitted in April 2022, is still to be approved by the national authorities. The government of Nagasaki Prefecture said recently it thought there was “still a chance” its development proposal for an IR will be approved by the central government.
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