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Japanese snap election delays Integrated Resorts

Japa

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nese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called a snap election, postponing the country's integrated resort bill which is currently being discussed. The snap election will take place in October and could prove costly for those who were gambling on the country's gaming boom.

Shinzo Abe claimed that Japan was undergoing a “national crisis” surrounding current tensions with North Korea, however, it is also apparent that said crisis has seen his approval ratings soar in the past few months. Abe is attempting to take advantage of this resurgence by consolidating his power.

Japan’s parliament or DIET are currently debating and outlining a piece of legislation to allow the introduction of integrated resorts into the country. Having passed legislation in December 2016 calling for the authorisation of integrated resorts and following numerous discussions around the country, DIET were in the process of formulating a bill. It is now clear that it will not be possible to continue with the current discussions surrounding integrated resorts as the nation undertakes an election.

Several major integrated resort operators had already created departments focused on Japan. Just in the last month US Diplomat Jason P. Hyland was hired by MGM to head up their Resorts Japan subsidiary. For investors it’s a reminder that the Japanese gaming market is still uncertain despite having the potential to become one of the most profitable.

The Japanese parliament will be dissolved on Thursday to allow for campaigns and elections to take place. It is unlikely that any bills will be passed until after the election is over. If in the unlikely case that Abe isn’t re-elected it is unclear if any integrated resort bill will be passed.

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