Pro-casino lawmakers have given up on getting a bill to legalise casino gambling enacted during the current Diet session.
Members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, the Japan Innovation Party and the Party for Future Generations submitted the bill for the second time last April and had hoped the bill would pass last year. But it got shelved after the Diet became preoccupied with a debate on controversial security legislation, the Trans-Pacific Pact free trade talks and the Olympic stadium fiasco.
The plan was to have the bill enacted during the current Diet session but LDP sources now say it is likely to be delayed again after the upper house election in the summer due to difference in opinion about the bill between the LDP and its coalition partner, the Komeito Party.
The casino bill, if passed, would establish an industry analysts say could generate 4 trillion yen a year and which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sees as key to economic growth.
Attempts to legalise casino gambling in Japan, which industry experts say is one of the world's last major untapped gaming markets, have been delayed repeatedly amid opposition from lawmakers worried about addiction and organised crime.
Companies such as Las Vegas Sands Corp and MGM Resorts International are vying to win licenses to operate casinos in Japan, a market that brokerage CLSA estimates could generate annual revenue of $40 billion.© Japan Today