Japan plans to link ID card with access to casino resorts

Japan plans to grant three licences to develop integrated resorts.
Japan plans to grant three licences to develop integrated resorts.

Japan wants to tie its “My Number” ID card system to casino resorts to verify the identity of local players.

Japan.- As Japanese cities and prefectures move forward with their bids for integrated resort licences, authorities are looking at linking the “My Number” ID card system with the future resorts to identify local players who attend.

The card links people’s social security and tax data and will also be linked to a mobile phone app as part of an initiative to promote a “digital government.”

Analysts also believe the system could also help evaluate the earnings of the future Integrated Resorts.

As of April, only 28 per cent of Japanese citizens had registered for the “My Number” card system.

Japan plans to allow three integrated resorts initially. The are four locations bidding: Nagasaki, Yokohama, Wakayama and Osaka.

Japan’s current integrated resort plans

In Nagasaki, a group dubbed the Citizen’s Association to Think About the Casino Issue has criticised the lack of information regarding the city’s bid to develop an integrated resort.

The anti-IR group asked for a summary of the meeting in which Nagasaki’s prefectural government whittled down five initial contenders to three operators. However, the request was rejected by the prefecture, which argued that it could harm the business interests of the companies involved.

In Yokohama, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) may have chosen Takeharu Yamanakaa professor at Yokohama City University, as an anti-IR candidate to represent the CDPJ on the mayoral elections to be held on August 22.

Yokohama’s current pro-IR mayor Fumiko Hayashi has expressed her decision to run for a fourth term. However, the Liberal Democratic Party believes she is unlikely to win the elections and is seeking another candidate.

In WakayamaClairvest Neem Ventures in partnership with Groupe Partouche SA and AMSE Resorts Japan Co is the only remaining contender for the IR bid. The prefecture was left with little choice after Suncity Group, the only other contender, withdrew from the process due to uncertainty caused by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In Osaka, MGM-Orix remains the only contender despite an extension of the deadline for submissions.

According to local media, Osaka’s authorities now fear they won’t be able to control the conditions for the IR development plans due to the risk of MGM pulling out of the tender.

Bill Hornbuckle, MGM president and CEO, has recently said the delay caused by the Covid-19 pandemic had allowed MGM to redesign its integrated resort plan. However, he remarked the process has been difficult and long.

Osaka had wanted its operators to add more MICE facilities beyond the requirements of national legislation but, according to Hornbuckle, MGM-Orix’s IR may have less MICE space and fewer hotel rooms than expected.

However, he said it would still meet the minimum requirements of the central government.

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GAMBLING REGULATION integrated resorts land-based casino