Early in December the Japanese parliamentary session for 2013 will end and political supporters of the proposed legislation to legalise casinos fear that this bill may not be passed. The government is made up of the Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, New Komeito. It is the New Komeito party which has expressed concern that there may not be agreement on the actual legislation before parliament recesses on the 6th of December. The ruling party recently agreed to the draft casino bill which would permit casino resorts to be built whenever the final legislation is accepted. Now it remains to be seen whether the draft legislation is approved by its government partner.
Japan is perfectly situated geographically to benefit from the popularity of gambling in Asia. Its proximity to China means that once casinos are legalised and vast casino resorts are built in Japan, there could be an influx of gamblers from China, in particular High Rollers who would spend huge amounts. The fact that a cross party group was involved in drafting the proposed legislation shows that the Japanese authorities are more open to moving forward on the question of casino gambling in the country.
Tokyo recently beat proposals from Turkey and Spain to host the 2020 Olympic Games. This is looked on as a good sign by supporters of a regulated gambling industry in Japan. The large number of tourists attracted by the Olympic Games would require accommodation and the construction of major casino resorts could provide this and in turn benefit from clients gambling in the casino complexes. While it is not known if the proposed legislation will be voted on in the current parliamentary sitting, it is likely that the legislation would be put before parliament when it resumes in January 2014. If the bill is passed then it is possible that the first casino complexes could be built before the Olympic Games begin.The Japanese government is working slowly and carefully on legislation to legalise casinos so as to avoid the possibility of criminal elements becoming involved in any future gambling industry. At the same time however, several large world renowned casino operators are keen to invest in Japan, these include the Sands Corporation, the Wynn Resorts group and MGM Resorts among others.