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Snap election threatens IR legislation schedule

It has become more likely that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will dissolve the extraordinary Diet session scheduled to begin at the end of this month and call a snap general election for October 22 or October 29.

Should this scenario unfold, it would mean passage of both the gambling anti-addiction legislation as well as the crucial IR Implementation Bill would almost certainly be pushed back until next June, or possibly much later, complicating the casino plans of international operators and local governments alike.

Due largely to the missile crisis with North Korea, Abe has witnessed a rebound in his public approval ratings, and at the same time the opposition parties are in greater-than-usual disarray. The temptation for the prime minister to call an election at this juncture of his temporary advantage will likely prove overwhelming.

If so, there may not be any legislation passed in Japan until next year’s ordinary Diet session, at which the priority, as always, will be to pass the national fiscal year budget.

Conceivably, a general election could also significantly change the balance of forces between pro-casino and anti-casino lawmakers, though that is not a very likely outcome.

The main problem for the passage of the IR-related legislation in the event that a general election is held in October will be that it is simply not a top-level priority in comparison with other critical items on the agenda, and thus the scheduling of Diet debate could prove to be challenging for some time to come.

More news from this jurisdiction

JapanWednesday, Jan 17, 2018

Hard Rock International is attempting to boost its attraction to the forthcoming Japanese IR market by drawing attention to its recently launched “Rock Om” program.

JapanMonday, Jan 15, 2018

Nagasaki Governor Hodo Nakamura faces an electoral challenge from a candidate affiliated with the Japan Communist Party as he seeks a third term.

JapanFriday, Jan 12, 2018

In a piecemeal fashion, Japan is beginning to strengthen its anti-addiction infrastructure in anticipation of the opening of its first IRs in the next decade. The latest step is the establishment of the Hyogo Kobe Addiction Countermeasures Center, which will include a hotline for telephone consultation.

JapanThursday, Jan 11, 2018

TransAct Technologies said it has teamed up with AIGC Co., a new consulting agency focused on the potential casino gaming market in Japan, to promote its products.

JapanWednesday, Jan 10, 2018

Hideo Sawada, the founder of H.I.S., one of Japan’s largest travel agencies, who is also president of Huis Ten Bosch, the theme park in Sasebo city has sketched out a grand vision of an undersea casino in Nagasaki.

JapanThursday, Jan 04, 2018

The Japan Racing Association (JRA) began implementing third-party gambling addiction exclusions at the end of December, heralding a new direction in Japanese policy expected to apply not only to current forms of gambling, but also to the IRs likely to open in the mid-2020s.

JapanMonday, Dec 18, 2017

With four separate municipal governments now considering IR licensing bids within her prefecture, Hokkaido Governor Harumi Takahashi made comments last Thursday indicating that she will maintain a neutral and largely passive policy posture.