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Japan announces Basic Policy for IRs

Japan has finalised the Basic Policy for its integrated casino resorts (IR).

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The new rules include guidelines for relationships between public servants and operators, brought upon by concerns of possible corruption.

Additional rulings involve the possibility to select up to three development areas for the venue’s construction; operators would also have to be mindful of problem gambling.

Originally, the Japanese Government planned to open its first IRs in the first half of this decade. However, the schedule was pushed back by almost nine months and now local governments can submit plans between 1 October 2021 and 28 April 2022.

The new expected period for Japan's IRs is late 2020s at best.

IRs are predicted to increase the visitor count to Japan to 60 million. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said they are “an important initiative for Japan to proceed as an advanced tourist nation. We are moving ahead with the necessary preparations.”

Currently, there are four contenders for the IR spots: Osaka, Yokohama, Wakayama and Nagasaki.

The announcement of the Basic Policy allows local governments to make their own plans and work together with potential operators.

However, some international firms that already operate IRs in other countries have previously pulled out of Japan’s project over concerns about development costs, policy delays and the recent pandemic.


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