he Japanese government plans to postpone the release of its basic policy for the development of casino-featuring integrated resorts, or IRs, until the election in summer for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of parliament, or later, it was learned Wednesday.
The basic policy, which will define criteria for approving districts for the establishment of casino facilities, will likely be shown "next year," a senior government official said, as reported by Nippon. The government initially considered unveiling the policy as early as summer this year but decided to put off the announcement to prevent its adverse effects on the Upper House election amid lingering concerns among the public over envisaged casino launches in Japan.
The IR introduction law that took effect in July last year calls for establishing a committee to supervise casino resort operators within 18 months of its promulgation. It also stipulates that the basic policy be hammered out within two years.
The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, pushed back the establishment of the casino management committee as well.
After obtaining Diet approval, the Prime Minister will appoint five members of the envisaged commission, including its chairman. The government is also considering submitting an appointment plan to the Diet during an extraordinary session this autumn, or later, according to The Japan News.
Local governments hoping to bring casino facilities to their areas need to compile their enforcement policies — with such information as criteria for selecting operators — based on a basic policy, in order to solicit and select business operators. The central government will subsequently approve a development plan compiled by local governments and business operators.
Now with the delay in the announcement of a basic plan, the opening of the casino business will likely be delayed from the previously expected kick-off in 2023 or 2024.