The ruling party in Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party, is pushing to build casinos in the country before the 2020 Olympics take place. The plan for casinos is to add the gaming facilities to large integrated resorts that will be created for the upcoming Olympics.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has a team that has worked since July of 2014 to see casino resorts added in Japan. More than 10 officials from such groups as the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the National Police Agency and other groups began the effort, despite challenges and opposition from others in the country. The group is 37 members strong, trying to push casino gaming in the state.
Legislation was proposed earlier this year to regulate the proposed resorts as well as lifting a ban on casino gaming in the country. The plan failed despite being supported by the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Discussions on the subject were delayed due to the call for caution by Komeito, the junior coalition partner. Abe is now hoping that the legislation will move forward next year during the ordinary session, even asking Natsuo Yamaguchi, the Komeito leader, for assistance back in September to see legislation passed.
There are still political hurdles to face with trying to see the legislation passed, as opposition is strong. It seems the prospects of having the actual casino resorts up and running during the Olympics are slimming as time goes by. However, the government is going ahead with planning, so to have the specifics in place if the plan is approved, to be able to have the resorts running in time.
There are issues that have been identified in relation to the resorts, including finding an operator for the casino resorts. There is no company in Japan that is experienced in running resorts that have a combination of casino gaming, hotel services, conference space and entertainment. Several options are being weighed to determine who should operate the facilities.
The plan is to also create three entities, separate from each other that will oversee the casinos in Japan. This would be a regulatory agency that is affiliated with the Cabinet Office as well as local administrations, and cabinet ministers. With the division of power, policies may be changed when a new governor came into office, which would throw the casino scheme into confusion. It has been determined that who would have authority over what must be decided before the regulatory system can be put in place.