A bill that would allow for land-based casinos to operate in Japan has been all the talk in the gambling circles lately. For the first time in decades, there is a realistic chance for the country to have regulated gambling thanks to the efforts of the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party.
A couple of days ago, the bill passed through the Lower House of Diet (Japanese parliament). This didn’t happen without vocal dissatisfaction by the opposition, but Abe and LDP remained firm in their intentions to help the economy of Japan through regulated gambling.
Abe Speaks in Support of Casinos
The bill, known as Integrated Resorts Promotion Bill, will soon find meet its destiny in the Diet’s Upper House. The odds of it being passed are good, as LDP has the necessary majority in the upper house as well. However, Abe took an opportunity to speak about the advantages of this bill ahead of the upcoming vote.
Abe emphasized the construction of integrated resorts in the country would create many new jobs and boost the country’s economy through the influx of tourists. This was Abe’s response to continued criticism coming from the opposing Democratic party. The DP insists that introducing casinos would increase the rate of crimes related to gambling. They also emphasize a number of gambling addicts in the country will necessarily grow.
Three Years of Efforts
The Japanese gambling bill has been in the works for three years now. The LDP has been trying to get all members of the Diet to see all the benefits this regulation would have for the country. Until recently, they were largely unsuccessful, but things are finally starting to look up.
In his most recent speech defending the bill, Abe also underlined that gambling would only represent a small part of the overall resorts’ offer. There would be numerous other facilities that would help boost the cash flow and open new job posts. The Prime Minister is also of the opinion this move would double the number of tourists visiting the country by the end of the decade.
Although the LDP holds the majority in the Upper House, the bill is still not guaranteed to pass. Abe will need to do some more convincing and get some members of the opposition to see eye to eye with him on this matter. If the bill is passed soon, Japan could see the first of these integrated resorts in 2023.