New Tokyo governor supports idea of opening a casino

The recently-elected first female governor of Tokyo supports the idea of opening a casino venue in the Japanese capital.

Japan.- Yuriko Koike said that the Tokyo metropolitan government would need to take measures against casino-related problems, such as gambling addiction. Whilst Koike stood as an independent candidate in July’s election, some members of the country’s governing Liberal Democratic Party (LPD) are in favor of Japan legalising casino gambling so that casino resorts can be built.

This decision is seen by some as an economic stimulus measure likely to increase the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan. Several lawmakers have stated that if casinos were to be allowed, they would need to see social safeguards, possibly including an entry level on locals wishing to gamble in them.

Koike is said to support draft legislation to legalise casinos. The enabling measure, which would need to be backed up with further legislation to regulate such resorts, is currently stalled in Japan’s parliament, a body known as the Diet.

There might be only two licences, for large casino resorts, at the first stage of liberalisation following legalisation; rather than a previously-mooted idea of a licence each for two large properties and a licence each for two smaller regional ones. Union Gaming said the front runners for gaming resorts were Tokyo and Osaka. Tokyo had been identified previously by government advisers as a likely location, with the hope that a casino resort opening could be timed to coincide with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.