30-member team behind Japan Casino Bill at METI to be disbanded

The 30-member team in charge of Japan’s Casino Bill from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will soon be disbanded and their dedicated office shut down, according to Japanese-language major daily newspaper.

This effectively signals the Abe government has given up on the idea of casinos for now, and is not likely to prepare a renewed push anytime soon.

The Abe administration had previously viewed that lifting the ban on casinos would be a strategic measure to enhance economic growth. However, given the amount of delays, the goal of opening the first Integrated Resorts before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is now an even more doubtful prospect.

“Given the expected lengthy discussion period for the follow-on Implementation IR bill, tender and construction processes, our early best-case scenario is for the Japanese casinos to begin operations well after the 2020 Japan Olympics, possibly 2022,” CIMB analysts Michael Ting and Jensen Poon said in July last year.