Japan

The Japanese Supreme Court has denied an appeal filed by Universal Entertainment Corp. in relation to its defamation case against news outlet Reuters.

The city of Tomakomai, Hokkaido, held a briefing session for IR operators in Tokyo on Friday afternoon, getting a jump on most other Japanese local governments and signaling their seriousness about pursuing an IR license.

The ruling coalition Komeito party established its own independent project team on Wednesday to study issues surrounding the IR Implementation Bill.

The city council of Iwanuma, in Japan’s northern Miyagi Prefecture, envisions a bid for an IR as a measure to help the local area recover from the March 2011 tsunami that devastated Japan.

Grant Govertsen, an analyst for Union Gaming, has produced a second report this month highlighting gloomy scenarios for the future of IRs in Japan.

The official-two week campaign period ahead of the July 30 mayoral election for Yokohama was launched on Sunday, with two of the three candidates opposing the hosting of an IR in the city.

With the Japanese government’s lack of experience managing projects similar to the forthcoming establishment of IRs, some international operators are concerned.

Separately from the Casino Management Board, local governments and operators of IRs in Japan are also going to have to answer to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), according to reports in the Japanese media.

Local hosts of IRs are to made responsible for achieving positive results in terms of promoting tourism and contributing to regional economies. Prefectural governments will be obliged to report each fiscal year’s results to MLIT, and these annual reports will be made public.

The high-profile public debate on gambling addiction, which until now has been mainly associated with the forthcoming establishment of IRs, is set to hit Japan’s lucrative pachinko industry.

The city council of Tokoname appealed on Friday to Aichi Governor Hideaki Omura, calling for an accelerated feasibility study for siting an IR within their municipality.

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