The five-member Japan Casino Regulatory Commission (CRC) has informed the country’s central government that the funds set aside for its operations are inadequate.
The CRC will be tasked with governing operations of casino resorts that come to Japan. The nation is currently fielding integrated resort (IR) development proposals from interested prefectures and their casino consortiums.
The CRC will regulate gaming in Japan once it begins. The opening of the first casino in Japan is likely several years out. But the government gaming committee is already underway with setting up its operations.
Per an announcement on the CRC website, officials have asked for additional funding from the central government for its 2022 fiscal year budget. The CRC was issued JPY4.15 billion (US$37.3 million) for its 2021 fiscal year dealings.
Japan legalized commercial gambling in July of 2018. The Integrated Resort Implementation Act formed the CRC.
Regulation Not Cheap
The Casino Regulatory Commission has asked Japan leaders in Tokyo to further disperse money to the gaming agency. The committee is seeking an increase of $4.2 million to be used to establish headquarters in the country’s capital region.
The casino commission is additionally asking for $3.6 million to establish technology infrastructure that will play a pivotal role in the agency governing casino floors. Finally, the group wants Japan to cover an expected $2.3 million in expenses related to CRC personnel traveling internationally to IR markets to learn and better understand the industry.
The Casino Regulatory Commission is responsible for maintaining order and safety regarding the installation and operation of casino facilities,” the CRC mission reads.
The CRC’s primary duties include the “strict examination” of casinos’ business dealings, supervision of key personnel, governing technical operations, and requiring gaming floors to implement prevention measures to combat problem gambling.
The five-commissioner CRC is supported by a 140-person staff. In its funding request, the casino commission asked the central government to allow its team to expand to 160 positions. The additional funding requested would cover the increased staffing.
Bidding Finally Arrives
More than three years after Japan lawmakers passed the IR bill, the country is finally accepting casino schemes from prefectures and their selected IR partners. Up to three IR licenses can be issued.
The review is being spearheaded by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism. An evaluation committee within the ministry will review and grade each proposal out of a possible score of 1,000 points.
Osaka is bidding for one of the IR licenses with MGM Resorts. Nagasaki has partnered with Casinos Austria, and Wakayama has teamed with Clairvest Group and Caesars Entertainment.
Japan is accepting IR submissions now through April 28, 2022.
Other prefectures could enter the fray, but time is becoming an issue. Joji Kokuryo, managing director of Bay City Ventures in Tokyo, is a leading expert on Japan’s path to legal casino gambling. He told Casino.org recently that it’s unlikely that the Japanese capital announces its IR candidacy.
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