Japan politicians see casino gambling OK in 2014

All it took was for Tokyo to be designated as the site for the 2020 Olympics to push lawmakers into a position where they plan to approve casino gambling.
Bloomberg News reported last week that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party submitted a bill in Japan’s parliament that likely would be considered and passed in the 2014 legislative session. Reportedly, the bill has bipartisan support, since it was submitted with the backing of the Japan Restoration Party and others.
Still unknown is whether the coalition partner, New Komeito, will approve of the gambling expansion. A spokesman indicated the group needed more time to study the proposal. Even so, the bill is expected to receive strong backing.
“I think the bill will definitely pass,” Kazuaki Sasaki, assistant professor at Nilson University College of Economics was quoted by Bloomberg as saying. “LDP is supporting the bill and even for those parties that are against the bill, I don’t think they will put restrictions on each member’s vote.” Sasaki said.
Analysts have estimated casinos located in Tokyo and or Osaka would vault Japan to the world’s second largest casino revenue generator behind world-leader Macau.
All the Macau license holders are expected to vie for a Japanese casino license, as well as other international gaming companies.
Legalizing casinos has been a point of discussion for at least a decade, said observers.
“The 2020 Tokyo Olympics became the change of tide. People started to consider it more serious as they need infrastructure,” added Sasaki.
Officials indicated they expect Japanese firms to seek partnerships among the casino operators. Among these are Kazuo Okada’s Pachinko manufacturing company, Universal Ltd., Las Vegas-based Konami Corp; Dynam Japan Holdings Co., and Oizumi Corp., also a Pachinko manufacturing company.

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