apanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe needs the support of his Buddhist-backed junior coalition partner, Komeito, whose lawmakers are more cautious on casinos because of ethical issues.
The party said yesterday that it has yet to make a decision on whether to support the bill.
The session was boycotted by opposition lawmakers opposed to the legislation. Hiroyuki Hosoda, chairman of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) general council and head of a crossparty group of pro-casino lawmakers, told parliament that the building of integrated casino resorts would help stimulate regional economies through tourism.
“It’s fundamental that the profits from casino facilities are returned to society,” he said
Meanwhile, LDP officials told media that the party would try to vote on this first-stage legislation by December 14, when the current parliamentary session ends, Ggrasia reported.
On Tuesday, Diet Affairs Committee chairman Wataru Takeshitay press conference that the bill could be voted on by the lower house on December 6. If passed, the bill would then go to the upper chamber
International gaming companies have been mulling billions of dollars in investment as Tokyo gears to host the 2020 Olympic Games, promising to increase the number of tourists coming to the country.
Japan has potential to transform into one of the biggest Asian gambling hubs with annual casino revenue of as much as US$40 billion, according to CLSA Ltd.
“Everybody is looking at Japan,” Lawrence Ho, chief executive officer of Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd, said in an interview in Macau on Tuesday. “The Japan legislation seems like it’s finally going forward. I personally have been lobbying it for many, many years. We would be extremely interested and will definitely participate in it, if we are lucky to."