Japan Casino Bill Heating Up

National assembly members representing three of Japan’s major political parties have formally submitted a bill to legalize casino gambling.

Photo: AP Photo / Matt Rourke

Hiroyuki Hosoda, a member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the leader of the inter-party group, told reporters recently, “With Prime Minister Abe’s administration now powerful in terms of public support, we would like the Diet to pass the bill,” which would remove the current ban on casino gambling for the purpose of promoting tourism.

The bill would allow private companies to manage the casinos, which would be incorporated into resorts that include conference halls and lodging facilities.

It would also create a committee attached to the Cabinet Office to regulate them.

If and when the bill is passed it would require the passage of another law compelling the government to promote the establishment of casinos.

Businesses would have to obtain licenses to operate casinos and inspectors would be employed to monitor their activities and crack down on illegal practices.

The lawmakers group hopes to start deliberations on the bill by early May and expect it to pass easily and quickly. Already, about 10 local governments are drawing up plans to build casino resorts.