Japan may finally start casino debate Wednesday

    Japan may finally begin a long-stalled discussion on a bill to legalize casinos on Wednesday, according to reports.
    Lawmakers were keen to at least begin talks on the bill before the end of the current session on June 22, so the debate can then continue with the potential of being passed in an extraordinary session later this year.
    The bill is one of two that need to be finalized before the first casino licenses can be issued. The first outlines the general legal framework, while a second will set down more concrete regulations for casino operators. Some industry watchers say the legislative timeframe may now be too tight for companies to open their resorts in time to capitalize on Tokyo hosting the 2020 Olympics.
    According to Reuters, views among politicians and the public remain mixed on opening what is expected to become the world’s second-biggest casino market.
    “Integrated resorts are expected to contribute to bolstering tourism, regional activity and industry, but they also require consideration of policy measures to prevent crime, maintain safety, ensure healthy development of youngsters and prevent addiction,” the news agency said citing a draft copy of the government’s growth strategy.