Japan’s second casino hearing draws to a close in Osaka

  • Osaka talks centred around ways to reduce problem gambling
  • Osaka’s bid to host the 2025 World Expo could play a role in integrated resort licence bid

As previously reported by Casinopedia, the Japanese government’s proposal to hold a series of discussions is under way, with the country’s second public hearing in Osaka having taken place at the end of last week.

osaka

The talks are being carried out as a way of addressing public concerns over the potential risks that could come as a result of growing the country’s casino industry.

Subjects such as problem gambling and money laundering have been common, with the discussions in Osaka centred around ways in which the government can address and avoid these issues.

Smooth talks required for proposal of new gambling regulations

The series of talks are critical for Japan’s gambling industry, as recently Japan’s office of Integrated Resort Regime promotion presented the government with a report that outlined recommendations on how to regulate the sector.

The Japanese Government (the Diet) will most likely approve the recommendations during its autumn session, with the possibility of licences being made available and approved for integrated resorts by the end of this year.

If that does become the case, the government has been quick to highlight that only two or three locations will be granted a licence.

Osaka a vocal city but still not sure

During the discussion, City lawyer Tetsunari Yoshida told the panel that their proposals were insufficient to address a number of concerns.

It is reported that he also suggested the proposals plan to charge an entrance fee and limit the amount of times the public can visit will create problems in its own right such as encouraging players to stay longer when they do attend.

There is also support from the locals however, with a number of business groups in favour of integrated resorts on their doorstep but concerned by the proposed total limit on floor space that is set to be implemented.

Their reported solution was to suggest that just a limit on the floor space for ‘casino services’ should be considered as opposed to the square footage of the whole site.

Osaka’s ready

Osaka has been a forbearer of the push to build an integrated resort. Indeed, the city has reportedly already drawn up plans to host an integrated resort on Yumeshima Island in Osaka Bay.

That, coupled with Osaka’s bid to host the 2025 World Expo centred around the theme ‘designing future society for our lives’ leaves the city in a very strong position to receive one of the licences.

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