Japan highlights importance of IRs to tourism reactivation

The cities of Osaka and Nagasaki have submitted IR District Development Plans.
The cities of Osaka and Nagasaki have submitted IR District Development Plans.

Japanese authorities have stressed the key role of integrated resorts in the reactivation of tourism after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Japan.- A new Japanese government paper – “Basic Policy on Economic and Fiscal Management and Reform 2022” – highlights the importance of integrated resorts to the country. It says the construction of IRs responds to a need to reactivate tourism after the Covid-19 pandemic, which has paralysed the sector for two years.

The document reaffirms the commitment of authorities to vigorously promote the development of IRs and the regulation of casinos. However, the first resorts are unlikely to start operating until the end of the current decade.

The two contenders for integrated resort licences, for now, are Osaka and Nagasaki. They both submitted IR District Development Plans that were approved by their city councils and then prefectural assemblies.

Japan’s Casino Regulatory Commission will listen to public feedback regarding its casino operator screening criteria until June 17. Authorities said public comments will be taken into account when the process of issuing casino licences begins. 

Last October, Tetsuo Saito, Japan’s minister of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism said the country hopes to receive 60 million inbound visitors by 2030 and said IRs would be vital.

Regarding the reopening of Japan’s borders, on May 26 Fumio Kishida, Japan’s prime minister said that from June 10, some international tourists will be allowed to re-enter the country.

From June 1, the daily limit on arrivals for all types of tourists was raised to 20,000 from the 10,000-a-day cap set on April 10. Local media reported that the daily cap could be increased to 30,000 in July.

Online casinos will remain illegal, says Japan’s prime minister

As previously reported by Focus Gaming News, the prime minister of Japan has ruled out the possibility of allowing online casino gaming in the country.

Issei Yamagishi, a councilman of the Constitutional Democratic Party, had told the prime minister that the number of online casino players reached 2 million in 2020 and that the number of inquiries connected to online casinos has been increasing. He asked Kishida which authority regulates online casinos in Japan, to which the prime minister responded that several agencies and ministries controlled the area.

Yamagishi had also asked the prime minister if there were any specific measures to combat addiction. Kishida replied that there were measures to prevent addiction to legal gambling, but since online casinos are illegal, work focuses on preventing the sites rather than combating potential addiction.

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