Tourism body to have say in IR regulation

Separately from the Casino Management Board, local governments and operators of IRs in Japan are also going to have to answer to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), according to reports in the Japanese media.

Local hosts of IRs are to made responsible for achieving positive results in terms of promoting tourism and contributing to regional economies. Prefectural governments will be obliged to report each fiscal year’s results to MLIT, and these annual reports will be made public.

If an IR is found to be underperforming, MLIT will be empowered to conduct on-site inspections and, if necessary, issue business improvement orders. If such orders are not obeyed, in the most extreme cases local governments can lose their IR certifications.

The Casino Management Board will have similar powers of oversight for IRs, though their mandate will be focused on the casino element of IRs, including measures for dealing with financial crimes and gaming operations. This organization is yet to be created, but is envisioned as an external bureau of the Cabinet Office.