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Japan releases Integrated Resorts basic plan

Japan has launched a public consultation on proposed regulations for Integrated Resorts (IR), including the country’s first casinos, with people able to submit comments on the controls until 3 October.

The consultation, which was launched by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, kicks off IR basic plan outlined by the Ministry and approved by the country’s ruling Cabinet in March this year. This will ultimately see licences for three resorts issued.

The primary target for the government is to boost tourism and the MICE (Meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) industry. The Japan IR plan specifically states that developments must help to attract 60 million foreign tourists annually by 2030.

The resorts itself will have to include hotels, conference facilities and exhibition centres, with gambling facilities to cover no more than 3 per cent of each venue’s floor space. Each must also include cultural facilities such as theatres, music halls, cinemas, museums and restaurants.

Tourists will have free entry to the gambling facilities, while locals must pay a 6,000 yen (50 euro) fee. Those aged 20 and under will be prohibited from gambling.

Several high-profile international operators have shown an interest in securing an IR license in Japan. MGM is plotting a facility in Osaka, with Las Vegas Sands and Wynn favouring Tokyo or Yokohama, according to media reports. Caesars Entertainment, however, has reportedly dropped out of the process.

The first Integrated Resort could open in 2025.

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