Japan Government to hold public hearings on casino industry growth

  • The Government’s aim is to address concerns from the public regarding problem gambling and money laundering
  • Hearings are set to take place between 17–29 August

Japan’s government is set to hold nine public hearings as it plans to address public concern over potential risks related to problem gambling and money laundering in the country.

Japan casino industry
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government is set to hold public hearings related to its casino industry

The hearings will take place in nine different cities and are set to get underway as early as the 17th of this month, with Tokyo the expected opening destination of hearing.

Why has this come about?

Japan’s central government recently received from Japan’s Office of Integrated Resort Regime Promotion, a report featuring a set of suggestions and recommendations on how to regulate the country’s casino industry.

Government officials are pushing forward with plans to build an integrated resort and in-turn public concern has risen as worries over money laundering and problem gambling remain high in the Japanese populations minds.

The government’s planned public hearings are designed to address the recommendation policies, which include details of addressing the public’s two main issues of problem gambling and money laundering.

In addition to this, a bill is expected to be finalised by the end of 2017 on casino guidelines but, as with many government trials and tribulations, it is unlikely any casinos would open until 2021 and a license would have to be granted should the bill be passed.

Who might get a licence

As it stands, the likeliest candidates to be granted a license first would be Tokyo, Osaka and Hokkaido. Osaka has been very vocal on its desire to build a casino and has also taken the time to draw up specific plans to host an Integrated resort on Yumeshima island in Osaka Bay.

American casino resort operators are keen on expanding their Asian operations and Tokyo has been earmarked as a potential hotspot whereas in In Hokkaido, Tomakomai and Kushiro have both expressed a potential desire in opening a resort.

However, the government will need to ensure these public hearings go smoothly before the bill can be passed and licences granted.

Where are the hearings taking place?

Nine cities across the country will be hosting a hearing and the locations have been confirmed as:

  • Tokyo
  • Osaka
  • Hiroshima
  • Fukuoka
  • Sendai
  • Sapporo
  • Nagoya
  • Toyama
  • Takamatsu in Kagawa Prefecture

The outcome of these hearings could propel the possibility of the casino bill in Japan into overdrive and could see the chance of casinos in the country within the next few years. It appears it will all come down to public opinion.

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