Japan casino bill pushed back

By David Cook
The submission of a bill to legalise casino gambling in Japan has been delayed.

Lawmakers had planned to table the bill today (Tuesday), but it is yet to receive support from a junior partner in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s coalition.

The lawmakers now reportedly hope to submit the bill in April, though no official date has been given as to when the bill will eventually be submitted.

“It's vital to have all the parties in the integrated resort parliamentary league on the same page," Takeshi Iwaya, a senior member of the group from Abe's Liberal Democratic Party, said at a news conference.

"I won't comment on when we can submit the legislation, but we want to proceed promptly, as soon as the groundwork is done."

A bill to legalise casino gambling was first introduced to the Japanese National Diet in 2013, but the bill ran out of time to be passed last year, as lawmakers missed a 30 November deadline to hold a vote on the bill.

The bill can now be resubmitted after the Liberal Democratic Party won the Japanese election in December to remain in office.

Komeito, Abe’s junior coalition party, opposes the bill, as well as members of his own party, who fear that problem gambling could be encouraged by the legalisation of casino gambling.

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