Japan sees regular license renewal system for casinos

Japan’s government plans to strictly screen casino operators through licensing and those who win a permit will be required to renew them periodically, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported, citing a draft of the regulation.

Also, to prevent members of yakuza organizations and other antisocial forces from getting involved in the casino business, the draft stipulates that thorough probes will be carried out, focusing on such factors as business relationships of the operators — including their subsidiaries and shareholders — and relationships with those who might join the operations, and whether there is debt involved.

The bill setting out the details for the hotly sought after license is expected to be submitted by the end of the year “at the earliest,” the newspaper reported.

The draft of the bill obtained by Yomiuri says that IR business operators “are required to have high morals, a sense of responsibility and a clean nature because they will be given a privileged status with exemption from the prohibition of gambling as a crime.”

If the operators do not own a site for IR facilities, the owners of the site will be also obliged to obtain the licenses.

The examinations of operators will be implemented by a casino control commission, which will be an affiliate of the Cabinet Office and will comprise officials loaned from the National Police Agency.

Those subject to these checks are considered “all people concerned,” and include executives and those in divisions of the casino operator company that are not overseeing casino businesses.

The draft emphasizes that “it is necessary to implement the background checks on an unlimited range as needed,” including on shareholders and those in the subsidiaries.

The IR Promotion Council comprising experts approved the regulation draft at its meeting Wednesday afternoon and will include the points of the draft in its proposal to be compiled this summer.