A bill to legalize casinos in Japan has stalled in the National Diet amid continued political opposition, and may be postponed for consideration until next year.
Reports are that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s governing Liberal Democratic Party is struggling to obtain a parliamentary consensus for the bill, and the prime minister himself, the bill’s biggest backer, has been weakened by political scandal, which is making the negotiations more difficult.
Takeshi Iwaya, who heads the governing LDP’s pro-casino caucus in the Diet, told reporters he would “ensure progress” on the bill this year, according to Bloomberg.
But other members of the caucus have told Reuters the bill doesn’t have the votes to pass and will be shelved until the next regular session, which begins in January.
And the bill’s future will be problematic at that point as well, according to the same sources, because the 2015 session will be consumed with national defense, the budget, the Fukushima recovery and other big issues.
“If they can’t pass it now, I doubt whether they’ll ever be able to pass it,” one said.
The Diet adjourned for 2014 at the end of November.