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Japan to launch casino regulator by January 2020

The Japanese government has revealed plans to formally establish a regulatory body to oversee the country’s land-based casino industry by January next year, around six months after it was originally set to be formed.

The country’s casino management commission is expected to be formed on January 7, 2020, and will include five members who will serve five-year terms. The commission will ultimately employ 100 people — up from the 95 originally planned — with the leadership to be confirmed by the Japanese parliament (Diet).

The casino management commission is to be in charge of security matters, probity and background checks. The body will oversee integrated resort (IR) operators in that country, as well as devise measures to counter gambling addiction.

Japan is to allow a maximum of three resorts in the first phase of market liberalisation. Integrated resort operators will have to require a casino business licence to construct their gambling hall, then a casino facility service licence to operate this venue. The gambling facilities must cover no more than 3 per cent of the venue’s overall floor space.

It also seems unlikely that any of the facilities will open until 2025 at the earliest.

However, Japanese citizens continue to oppose the plans for integrated resorts. According to a recent poll, 57.9 per cent of the respondents disagree with the plan, and only 26.6 per cent agree with it. Among the supporters, 62.8 per cent said they would back the establishment of a casino resort in their area, and 29.0 per cent said they would not.

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