Melco urges Japanese licence

Melco Resorts

Credits: Macau Daily Times

Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd is expecting the licence bid in Japan by next year.

Japan.- Although complete approval for a casino industry seems to be delayed in the Japanese Congress, international companies maintain their interest in investing in the country. However, this week Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd have demanded clarification on the situation.

According to Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, chairman and chief executive of the Asian casino developer, the Congress need to approve the Integrated Resorts (IR) Implementation Bill within the next few months so that the bidding process to finally obtain a casino licence could be set by 2019 or 2020, as companies are looking forward to investing in the market.

“If by mid-year they [Japan parliament] can pass the bill, that will really kick-start the bidding process… in 2019 to 2020, they will be able to have the bidding process to decide who is the winner,” Mr Ho told Hong Kong’s radio station RTHK. He was speaking on the side-lines of a meeting of China’s People Political Consultative Conference in Beijing. “Aside from Macau, Japan should be the best market – especially due to its population size, the fact that Chinese tourists love going there, and that Japan is a special country.”

After over a decade of the casino industry lobbying for regulations in Japan, lawmakers are ready to take the final step on the IR implementation bill. The upcoming debate will face the parties of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which is proposing up to six cities to be allowed to host casinos, and its Komeito coalition partner, which wants only two.