Political Resistance to Japan Casino Bill Remains Strong

The roller coaster ride of efforts to open Japan’s casino market continues, with politicians keeping the industry on tenterhooks as to whether or not legislation will be passed in the current session of the Diet. Although some observers had believed that this session represented the best opportunity to move forward with discussions on the Bill for the Promotion of Integrated Resort Facilities, better known as the “Casino Bill,” the parliamentary deliberations have been repeatedly delayed and the time window for the bill’s passage has narrowed sharply. The re-election of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with a two-thirds majority in July triggered renewed optimism among casino operators that the bill would finally move forward. According to CLSA analysts, the market would be worth at least $10 billion in annual gross gaming revenue from the first year, making it the second-largest in Asia after Macau. Support and opposition to the Casino Bill cuts through Japanese...

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