Japan’s effort to build its casino industry and launch its first integrated casino resorts is gaining more and more momentum every day. It emerged on Friday that the country’s government is set to establish a five-member casino management board on January 7, 2020.
Under an ordinance adopted by Japanese lawmakers late last week, the new agency will be responsible for overseeing security matters and will have to conduct investigations and background checks of the operators that will be selected to manage the nation’s first casino resorts as well as of their staff.
As mentioned above, the new casino management commission will have five members. Each of these members will be appointed only after approval by the Japanese government. They will serve five-year terms.
Basic Policy on Integrated Resorts
The Japanese government legalized casino gambling in December 2016. Last summer, lawmakers passed the so-called IR Implementation Bill that authorized up to three integrated resorts with dedicated Las Vegas-style casino gambling floors in yet-to-be-determined locations around the country.
The government now has to announce the full version of what has been referred to as basic policy on integrated resorts. A draft version of that policy was released last month. Its full version is expected to clarify a number of important matters, including the central government’s criteria for selecting the places that would host the nation’s first casino resorts.
According to reports by GGRAsia, the Japanese government will publish the full IR basic policy in early 2020.
Yokohama Launches Request for Concept (RFC) Process
Yokohama launched a request for concept process late last week, seeking resort concepts from companies interested to operate an integrated resort in Japan’s second largest city.
The city announced that it would participate in the casino race this past August. Interested casino operators will now have until December 23, 2019 to submit their concepts for an integrated resort in Yokohama.
The city’s recent announcement that it would enter the competition for hosting one of Japan’s first resorts with casino gambling attracted a wave of interest from some of the world’s biggest gaming and hospitality companies.
Las Vegas giant Las Vegas Sands said in August that it was no longer interested in pursuing development opportunities in Osaka and would instead focus its efforts on obtaining a permission to build its integrated resort in Yokohama or Tokyo.
Hong Kong-listed company Melco Resorts & Entertainment, which was too previously focused on winning an Osaka license, is now eyeing expansion of its Asian footprint through construction of a luxury resort in Yokohama.
Once the city completed the recently launched RFC process, it will then move onto publishing its integrated resort implementation policy. This is expected to happen some time next spring. City officials will then launch a request-for-proposal process, according to reports from local news outlets.
Yokohama, as well as all other cities and prefectures seeking to host one of Japan’s first three integrated resorts, will first have to team up with a private casino operator before asking Japan’s central government for permission to build a property of this kind.
Source: Japan casino commission to be established in January, GGRAsia.com
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