Allowing casinos in Japan has been a big topic for 2018, along with preventing gambling addiction among residents. The legislation for the casino bill was passed, which has several casinos vying for the three casino licenses, including Melco Crown. But, that does not mean opposition is not standing in the way. The ruling coalition is attempting to ensure nothing goes wrong with residents and gambling addiction.
The opposition has been very vocal about trying to disrupt the bill from going all the way through the various houses. Friday, June 15, 2018, the Diet’s Lower House committee approved the Integrated Resorts Implementation Bill, which would help formalize the casino operations and regulation. Japan also had to amend the constitution to allow casino licensing. The constitution amendment happened in 2016.
However, getting all the details ironed out, getting past the opposition, and approving bids for licensing is taking a lot longer. Daishrio Yamagiwa, the committee chair, was swarmed with people opposing the bill going through the final phases. They are defiant against lawmakers who wish to pass the bill.
The opposition also tried to get the legislative process disrupted by asking for the cabinet minister to be dismissed. It is the same minister who is responsible for the IR bill in the first place. The motion was rejected Friday by the coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party, as well as the Komeito Party, who are Buddhists.
The IR bill may have a vote to let it be passed, but there are still plenty of votes left that need to happen. The Diet’s lower house has to vote on the bill and then shift it to the upper house. The Diet is also about to adjourn on Wednesday the 20th of June. The coalition will probably try to extend the session to get the bill passed, but the opposition may attempt to block that extension.
The Untapped Market
Japan is an untapped casino market. For decades gambling has been illegal, which is why many operators are now trying to get a bite of the licensing options before they are solidified. There may be more than thirty operators who send in a bid for an integrated resort on the islands of Japan.
Lawrence Ho has certainly made it known that he wishes to build a $10 billion-dollar resort in Japan. He is one of the top names in Southeast Asia when it comes to casinos, particularly, in Macau’s big market.