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Wakayama governor hints at dropping foreigner-only policy

A second indication has emerged that Wakayama’s IR advocates are now moving away from their notion that casino entry might be limited to foreigners.

This time the indication comes directly from Governor Yoshinobu Nisaka, the man who had originally proposed foreigner-only casinos as a key measure to disarm local community concerns about the effects of gambling addiction.

In oblique comments before the Wakayama Prefectural Assembly on December 8, Governor Nisaka hinted that if national gambling anti-addiction measures were sufficiently credible, it might not prove necessary to ban Japanese nationals from entry to the casino.

The first signs emerged in early October that pro-IR forces within Wakayama Prefecture felt that the foreigner-only casino plan might constitute "excessive regulation” that could complicate the prefecture’s bid.

Some international operators have been outspoken in declaring that they would have no interest in investing in a Japanese IR that did not allow local residents into the casino.

More news from this jurisdiction

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At a symposium held on Monday, the Wakayama prefectural and city governments made their first substantial attempt to explain directly to the local public their advocacy for the creation of an IR at the Marina City site.

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A former casino cashier at the Yokosuka Naval Base has been sentenced to two years in prison for stealing nearly $100,000 from the Yokosuka casino in 2015.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.