Casino Management Board set for Jan. 7

The Abe Cabinet adopted an ordinance on Friday to establish the long-awaited Casino Management Board on January 7, 2020.

The ordinance also specifies that this independent agency under the auspices of the Cabinet Office will have two divisions, one focused on supervision of IR operators and the other dedicated to public policy on gambling addiction.

The board itself will consist of five members who serve for five-year terms. The total staff is expected to be about one hundred people.

Since the five board members require parliamentary approval, the candidates will be submitted during the current extraordinary Diet session. Opposition lawmakers, who are strongly against the legalization of casino gambling, are expected to closely scrutinize the candidates with an eye to further enflaming public opinion against the unpopular IR legislation.

The latest Jiji Press poll found that at the national level 57.9 percent of the public opposes the establishment of IRs and only 26.6 percent support the policy. Public opposition has been consistently at these levels throughout the legislative process, but conservative and rightwing politicians have pushed forward based on their command of Japan’s political system.