The Act on Promotion of Development of Specified Complex Tourist Facilities Areas has been announced in Japan. The Japanese Government declared it effective on 19 July.
The Act, also known as IR (integrated resorts) Implementation Act, was first introduced in 2018 and sets out the basic tenets of casino gambling in the country. The Act focuses on the requirements for Japan’s IRs as well as the operational aspects.
The law will make casinos legal; however, the country hasn’t issued any licences for actual operators yet, so there will be no immediate change for players.
Currently, the country plans to give out licences to three IRs, with the possibility of increasing the number after seven or more years, depending on the performance of the initial three.
Four prefectures (Osaka, Yokohama, Wakayama and Nagasaki) are aiming for the IR spot, but the window to submit their licensing bids to the national Government is fast approaching. Experts believe less than three IR bids might make it past the October 2021-April 2022 window.
Out of the remaining prefectures, Yokohama faces the least stable outcome, as pro-IR advocates face off against the public who don’t really support the idea of a casino in their city.
The ultimate decision will be determined by the winner of the Mayoral Election in August, meaning the prefecture will have a short window to submit the IR bid – if any.
Wakayama, on the other hand, is steadily developing its IR plans with its single remaining partner, Clairvest. Reportedly, the prefecture’s IR would serve as an esports centre, putting Wakayama on the base for various clubs.