On Tuesday, November 6, 2016, the Lower House in Japan passed a bill that would see the legalization of online gambling in Japan. Although Japan’s PM supported the Tuesday passing of the casino bill, the opposition and the majority of the Japanese population has for a long time, shown dissension on the online gambling practice thus the bill will always remain controversial.
LDP, the Prime Minister’s party and Komeito Party that is influenced by Buddhists supported the bill but the opposition boycotted.
Opposition parties feel that the bill has been expedited through parliament, and making it law as it is will only cause many negative economic implications to the majority of the Japanese population.
Out of the 33 Komeito Party legislators who attended the Tuesday vote, 22 voted in favor of the bill while the rest 11 voted against the bill. This made it sail through the Lower House.
Bill Likely To Pass
Now that the Lower House has passed the bill, it heads straight to the Upper House for deliberations. Japan’s opposition parties fear that a similar thing would happen when the bill finally reaches the Upper House.
The bill should be made into law by December 14, 2016. This is the time sessions at the Upper House ends. While there will be rigorous voting exercise at the Upper House, the opposition is nervous that the government’s influence on the Upper House and the tight timeframe would see the bill come into law before 2017.
However, in the event that the bill is made into law before Christmas and New Year, casinos will wait a while longer before they are allowed to operate. According to those who are reluctant to the bill, even if the bill became law today, casino and gambling advocates will have to be patient until responsible authorities establish proper frameworks that will allow prospective online gambling entrepreneurs to operate inside Japan.
“That will definitely stretch into many years ahead when the government will look into licensing requirements, consumer protection laws, and legislation framework,” they said.
Late For 2020 Olympics
Before international investors set up their gambling business in Japan, the casino law would have been fully established.
Online gambling analysts predict that if the bill finally becomes law and proper procedures enacted, Japan will become second most influential online gambling market after Macau that recorded $2.4 billion last month. Already, the biggest players in the industry including MGN and LVS have shown interesting in putting up their business in Japan. In fact, the two companies have promised to use billions of dollars in establishing the business in Japan.
Although Shinzo’s side is closer to making the casino bill law, there may not be any resort that would be ready when the country will be the home of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.