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Japan IR Still on the agenda, revised IR policy accepted

Central authorities Japan have not given up on the idea of developing integrated casino (IR) centers in the country, the government pointed out this week, declaring its intention to play a direct role in the process of communicating with candidates.

Central role in communication

Despite the bumps in the road, including his resignation premiere of Shinzo Abe in august which was supposed to complicate the development of the casino, the Japanese government continues to press for a successful conclusion of the IR project. The intention to establish direct contact with the companies, through the IR Promotion headquarters, confirmed that the development of the casino centers was still on the agenda.

The recently ruling coalition led by Abe's successor, Yoshihide Suga, presented a tax reform proposal that included topics related to casino taxation, which, according to the Nomura banking group, is a clear indication that Japanese officials did not back down from the idea of having 3 operating casinos the country by the end of the decade.

Planning the taxation of casino resorts for 2022, the proposal confirms the new timeline for the IR's domestic core policy. The 9-month delay in the original schedule has been officially accepted, disclosed in Friday's announcement, setting an application period for local governments from October 1, 2021. Until April 28, 2022, In line with a proposal in a revised draft developed by Japanese Tourist Agency in October.

Revised policy accepted

Japanese Tourism Agency, part of the Ministries of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, explained the need for a policy review with the significant drop in the number of visitors arriving in the country since the coronavirus outbreak, coupled with the need for additional local government resources to combat the continued spread of the virus as well as global travel restrictions.

The revised design included new measures to protect public health and safety, property requirements to implement improved cleaning and decontamination protocols so that casinos would not facilitate the spread of infectious viral diseases. Moreover, increased vulnerability to gambling addiction in some prefectures has forced the agency to include gambling safeguards for operators in order to quell community concerns.

Under the newly adopted timetable, Japan would not have been able to meet the original forecasts for a functional casino center by 2025. Given the 9-month delay as well as the time needed for environmental assessment and construction, this was more likely. that the IR project will be completed in the second half of the decade.

For one reason or another, some well-known private sector partners have already withdrawn their interest in developing a casino center in Japan, including the giant casino operator Las Vegas Sands.

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