Japan has been hitting the headlines of casino-related news outlets a lot lately, and one of the reasons for that is the bribery scandal that took place recently. As soon as the interested casino operators hoped that Japanese authorities would push things forward, a certain official from the country received a bribe and brought things to a stall.
One of the processes that are required to start building the three integrated resorts in Japan is selecting the host cities. Many cities and prefectures are competing for a license to be the one where one of the integrated resorts would be built.
After all, these resorts are estimated to attract a lot of tourists, and the host city would have a huge monetary benefit from the tax.
However, after one of the former members of the ruling party, Tsukasa Akimoto, was arrested for receiving a bribe, Japan’s plans for integrated resorts were affected in several ways, according to Japan Times.
The original plan that the government had in mind was to select the host cities by the end of January and continue with the process full-speed ahead after that.
Yet, as soon as Akimoto was discovered to have taken a bribe, the entire process was brought to a stall. Allegedly, he received a bribe from a Chinese company called 500.com, which wanted him to lobby for the company and improve their chances of receiving a license.
The original plan was to accept bids from municipalities and prefectures in Japan starting Jan. 1, 2021, and ending on July 30, 2021. However, due to the ongoing problems that have appeared along the way, many consider further delay a good idea.
Nevertheless, officials will stick to the original plan and hope that there would be no need to actually make a delay.
Just like cities, casino operators also must receive licenses to operate an integrated resort. Three licenses will be awarded, but that’s something that will come after the cities are selected. For now, no selection is made for either cities or operators.
Operators around the world have been discouraged lately by the turn of events in Japan. Apart from the bribery, many have given up due to a complex process that the Japanese officials require before they actually start working on the integrated resorts.
Japan’s Ongoing Casino Problems
The original idea of Japanese authorities was to open up the country’s casino market to improve the overall economy of the country. However, the general opinion about creating this type of industry in the country is not very positive, as many Japanese citizens aren’t exactly fans of gambling.
Nevertheless, the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, continues to push for casinos to open in the Country of the Rising Sun, as he sees an opportunity to improve the economy of the country. Sooner or later, the country will eventually start working on the integrated resorts, but many are afraid that it may miss the best time to do it, and arrive late.
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