The slow, methodical process of legalizing gaming in Japan continues to progress. Last month, the policy research council of the main opposition party, the Liberal Democrats, approved a pro-casino policy that will ensure the votes of the party if and when a vote is scheduled in the Japanese Diet.
Next up is the approval of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, which was aiming to finalize its gaming policy before the end of the normal session of the Diet in early June.
Meanwhile, according to Takashi Kiso, the CEO of Tokyo’s International Casino Institute, many cities and prefectures have lined up to host the prospective integrated resorts. The second-most-populous region after Kanto, which includes Tokyo, the Kansai IR is planned for Maishima Island, the artificial reef on the shores of the Osaka Bay. The site, adjacent to the Universal Theme Park Japan, is currently being used by container ships. The facility would include 10,000 hotel rooms, a 300-shop retail center, 250,000 square meters of meeting and convention space, two casinos representing less than 5 percent of the entire property, museums, transportation and more.
The one sticking point has been the adversarial relationship between Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto and the local business community. But a hefty last-minute campaign contribution by the local chamber of commerce has swayed Hashimoto to support the IR effort.
In the Miyazaki prefecture, Sega Sammy, one of the leading entertainment companies in Japan, has bought the Seagaia Resort.
“Casinos have to be realized in Japan because it can boost the tourism and employment,” said Sega Sammy Chairman Osamu Satomi. “We plan to manage the reconstruction of the resort, keeping the casino introduction in mind.”