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Japan PM Abe wants casino regulation law enacted by Q3

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has buckled down to work on regulations that will ensure casinos are managed properly.

Abe led the first meeting of a panel tasked to promote the so-called integrated resorts – including casinos – on Tuesday, of which discussions centered on several thorny, gambling issues such as anti-social elements from the casino business and how to address gambling addiction.

The Japan News reported that Abe is targeting autumn as the deadline for the submission of a legislation that will tackle the issues connected to gambling.

He believes that once these concerns have been addressed, the government can move forward in promoting the benefits of casinos like job creation and other economic effects.

“We need to introduce casino regulations of the highest global standards, and take every measure to address various concerns such as addiction, money laundering and what effects it might have on young people,” Abe said at Tuesday’s meeting. “I want to create fabulous, Japan-style integrated resorts that have clean casinos.”

On Thursday, the eight-member expert panel has started discussing a broad framework for possible regulations. They hope to come up with results by around summer so that it could be drafted into a bill to promote integrated resorts.

The panel discussion revolved around whether to use a permit system that would cover the types of games available and their rules, casino entrance restrictions and a system to pay the national and local governments.

Many gambling jurisdictions – such as Las Vegas – have implemented a licensing system that entails background checks into academic and criminal records, debts, relationships, and other personal aspects of casino employees, as well as their families.

Japan wants to duplicate such system, which will be carried out by a “casino supervisory committee.” Established as an external organ of the Cabinet Office, this committee would be staffed by officials on loan from the National Police Agency and elsewhere.

The panel is also studying a government proposal for Japan’s anticipated casinos to include broader tourists amenities, such as house spaces for conferences and exhibition halls.

Calvin Ayre

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