Japanese lawmakers have outlined legislation to legalize casinos that will limit the numbers initially, before gradually increasing the number of projects. It will also allow resorts to be developed in regional areas and not just in big cities, Bloomberg News, which said it has seen a copy of the document, reported. The outline also includes a proposal that inspectors be appointed to monitor for illegal activities and suggests that casino operators and makers and sellers of casino equipment should all be required to obtain permits to operate.


Japan’s draft plan to legalise gambling includes establishing an independent gaming regulator modelled on authorities that police casinos in Singapore and Las Vegas and calls for measures to cut out the country’s organised crime gangs, known as Yakuza, the Reuters news agency, which claims to have seen an outline of the regulations, reported. 

Speaking at the G2E conference in Las Vegas last week, an advisor to the Japanese government said that an opening ahead of the Olympics for any casino resorts would be ambitious.  The initial integrated resorts bill is expected to be submitted by this November to the Diet but may not be debated until the Spring session.  

Lawrence Ho would invest $5 billion in Japan if the company of which he is co-chairman, Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd., were granted a license to operate there.  In a recent interview in Tokyo, Ho confirmed that he was looking outside Macau, where land and labour are in short supply, for future growth opportunities.  

International casino operators cheered the announcement last week that Tokyo has been chosen to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, declaring it good news for the potential legalization of casinos in the country.