Japan Casino Regulatory Committee Requesting Additional Government Funds for Operations
More money, fewer problems?
The Japan Casino Regulatory Commission (CRC) appears to think so.
The five-member board has requested the central government to provide a cash boost to fund the structure of gambling regulation in the Asian country.
Here’s what you need to know.
CRC Claims Existing Budget Is Insufficient
The Casino Regulatory Commission will head operations relating to online gambling in Japan.
The Asian powerhouse is set to award three licenses to operators, with the MGM Consortium and Osaka to be approved for one of them.
There are clearly issues to iron out before all integrated resort (IR) development proposals are signed off, with 2025 likely to be the year when the first casino opens its doors.
Yes, there is ample time to prepare, but without enough funds to plan for a seamless rollout, the CRC are apprehensive about what the future holds.
How Much More Money Is Needed?
The committee held its first meeting in January 2020 to address an alleged bribery scandal that threatened the rollout of legalized gambling in the nation.
Michio Kitamura, the head of the committee and former chief of the Fukuoka High Public Prosecutor’s Office, made it clear that transparency was key to making plans work.
In 2020, an extra JPY 370 million (US$3.3 million) pushed the committee’s budget from JPY 4.15 billion (US$37.3 million) to JPY 4.53 billion (US$40.7 million).
That included JPY 3.19 billion (US$28.7 million) for admin purposes as well as an increase of JPY 470 million (US$4.2 million) for operational costs. The latter being necessary to adhere to overseeing the IR Development Act and further necessities.
Among the other costs and expenses are:
- JPY 400 million (US$3.6 million) for an all-encompassing data management system to ensure security and management at resorts.
- JPY 260 million (US$2.3 million) to fund the cost of sending representatives to established international resorts to acquire technical knowledge and to form an expert understanding of how other national casinos operate.
- JPY 200 million (US$1.8 million) for expenses owing to the licensing of software and mechanical operators.
Licensing and gambling laws in Japan have led to the requirement for further agencies and committees to oversee its move into establishing gaming resorts.
The committee has also asked the central government for funding to increase its existing staff to 160 from 140 to ensure that it has enough hands on deck to make things work.
Will Gambling in Japan Be a Success?
Providing things are done efficiently; there is no reason to see the rollout of legal gambling in Japan going ahead as planned.
If anything, probable changes to gambling laws in Macau could open the likes of Osaka to a swathe of new gaming tourists that will provide a major boost to the Japanese economy.
It’s encouraging to see the CRC acting efficiently at the early stages. It indicates that no stone will be left unturned as Japan braces itself for a milestone in its history.