Senior political figures were on hand earlier this week as the Japan Academy Of Integrated Resort And Gaming Studies held its 13th annual meeting at a Tokyo hotel and discussed proposed legislation that would legalize casino gaming in the nation of 127 million.

According to a report from Asia Gaming Brief, influential lawmakers Takeshi Iwaya of the Liberal Democratic Party and Kiyohiko Toyama from the Komeito Party were among those that attended the November 2 event to hear academics deliberate the Bill For The Promotion Of Integrated Resort Facilities, which is better known as the “Casino Bill”.

Also on hand were prominent opposition figures Yuichiro Tamaki from the Democratic Party and Nobuyuki Baba of the Nippon Ishin No Kai with Asia Gaming Brief reporting that the casino legislation is due to be discussed when the Japanese Diet resumes on November 9.

“We’ve been supporting the legislation to realize the establishment of casinos for more than twelve years,” Toru Mihara, a professor at the Osaka University Of Commerce and Vice-President of the Japan Academy Of Integrated Resort And Gaming Studies, told Asia Gaming Brief. “We are helping the process of legislation itself. From an academic point of view, we are helping how to structure the legislation. That is why [the politicians] are keenly respecting us.”

Despite the support, the “Casino Bill” may still not be passed with Asia Gaming Brief explaining that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito Party coalition remains skeptical while there may also not be enough time before the Diet breaks on November 30.

However, even if politicians do pass the bill, further legislation is to be required in order to establish exact policy details such as how many casinos would be permitted, the licensing terms and ways to deal with issues such as gambling addictions and the possibility of organized crime.