In Japan and the cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reportedly approved an ordinance that could see the official regulator for the nation’s nascent casino market established as soon as January.
According to a Sunday report from Asia Gaming Brief, the government proposal is now due to be put to a vote before Japan’s bicameral National Diet via an ongoing extraordinary session in hopes that the five-member Casino Management Board will be able to begin work from January 7.
Should legislators approve this proposition, Asia Gaming Brief reported that this newly-established body would operate independent of the Cabinet Office and be tasked with overseeing and regulating the country’s coming trio of integrated casino resorts with assistance from approximately 100 government employees.
Asia Gaming Brief reported that the ordinance also calls for the new Casino Management Board to be split into two divisions with one handling the supervision of casino operators alongside a second tasked with overseeing official Japanese policies on the prevention of gambling addictions.
Finally, the proposal calls for every one of the members of the new Casino Management Board to serve five-year terms following parliamentary approval initially via the same extraordinary National Diet session.
In related news and Inside Asian Gaming reported that the mayor for Osaka, Ichiro Matsui, has put forward a proposal that would see his city rent the land for its proposed integrated casino resort to a partner operator rather than selling it outright.
There are reportedly up to ten Japanese communities interested in entering the race for one of three licenses to build and run a Las Vegas-style integrated casino resort although Osaka is widely considered to be among the frontrunners. The city of over 20 million people purportedly wants to utilize a 121-acre plot of reclaimed land on Yumeshima Island as the site for its envisioned $10 billion project but must first select a partner operator before submitting its finalized proposal to federal selectors in Tokyo.
Reportedly read a statement from Matsui…
“We believe nothing short of a post-war economy can keep an Osaka integrated casino resort from being successful. In the event the operator has business troubles due to failure in other regions or operations, Osaka would remain silent if the operator owned the land. However, if the land is being rented, we will be free to seek out a different operator, direct the overall town building on Yumeshima Island and rebuild.”
Matsui proclaimed that such a ‘long-term business model’ would see the eventual aggregated lease price for such a plot exceed its initial sale value but could also aid operators ‘looking to minimize their initial land investment.’ As such, he purportedly detailed that his city could expect to earn about $691 million over the course of a 30-year lease rather than $553 million via a one-off sale.
“Considering the various risks, we think renting is the way to go and plan to draft the integrated casino resort implementation plan based on rented land.”