Japan to Set Up New Casino Commission in 2020

  • Independent five-person board will vet casino operators for the three resort casino licenses
  • Commission will also be advising on public policy changes relating to gambling addiction
  • Majority of Japanese public opposed to integrated casino resorts, government pushing ahead
flag of Japan with sunny sky backdrop
Japan will have a new and independent casino commission set up in early 2020 for the purpose of vetting the country’s potential casino resort operators. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Japan gets ready to issue resort casino licenses

Japan is planning to set up a casino commission with a board of five people on January 7, 2020. This new, independent body will be overseeing matters of security for the country’s burgeoning casino sector.

The commission will conduct background checks and investigations into the operators that will be chosen to manage the casino resorts in Japan. The staff of these operators will also be under the scope of these investigations. There will also be another division of this new commission focusing on public policy relating to gambling addiction. 

commission will conduct background checks and investigations into the operators

Each of the five board members will have to get approval from the Japanese government and serve a five-year term. The commission as a whole will have about one hundred staff. 

Approval for this new board came following the adoption of an ordinance by Prime Minister Abe’s cabinet. The independent agency will be operating with the approval of Japan’s Cabinet Office. 

Draft policy for casino resorts released

Commercial casino legalization in Japan came about in December 2018 after the legislature gave authorization for three resort casinos in the country earlier in the year. The locations and operators for these licenses have yet to be chosen

A final version of the policy governing these new resorts has not been published, but a draft version was released in September. There are a number of factors that will need clarification in the final policy, such as the key criteria for selecting the locations of these casino resorts.

The final integrated resort policy is set to be published by the Japanese government in early 2020.

Public opinion in Japan

There has been a lot of constant backlash from opposition political parties and the general public over the upcoming introduction of the resort casinos. 

The latest poll from Jiji Press shows that nationally, 57.9% of the public is against having the three new integrated resorts. Just 26.6% of people are in support of the resort policy. Despite the ongoing opposition throughout the legislative process, conservative politicians in the country have been pushing forward with these measures.

Once opened, the integrated resorts will be a massive driver for tourism in Japan. It is also believed they will create jobs and generate tax revenue for the government.