Ruling Coalition agrees on casino entry limits

Japan’s two ruling coalition parties have accepted the government’s recommendation for casino entry limits that would restrict Japan residents to a maximum of three casino entries per week as well as ten per month.

These limits would not apply to foreign tourists, who could come and go as often as they wish.

This represents a victory for the junior partner Komeito party. Fervently pro-IR lawmakers of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party had wanted there to be either the weekly or the monthly limit, but not both. They had also argued that putting any such entry limits treated Japanese as if they were children instead of as responsible adults.

Komeito also appears to have the upper hand on the issue of casino entry fees. They had strongly criticized the government proposal for a 2,000 yen (about US$19) entry fee as being much too low. Komeito’s suggestion is 8,000 yen (about US$76), which they feel puts Japan on par with Singapore. The Liberal Democratic Party has now raised its own proposal to 5,000 yen (about US$48), likely guaranteeing that the eventual resolution will be far higher than the government’s original proposal.

It appears that no progress has yet been made on the critical question of how many IRs to authorize. Komeito continues to call for two or three, while the ruling party is so far sticking with the concept of four, five, or even more.