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Lawrence Ho Yau Lung , chief executive of casino developer Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd, says a bidding process for a casino licence in Japan is likely to start “late next year” at the earliest.
“Last week was a big moment in the IR [integrated resort] legislation process in Japan, because the parties, the cabinet agreed to submit the bill to the Diet,” – stated Mr. Ho in an interview with Bloomberg.
Japan’s government endorsed on last Friday the IR (Integrated Resorts) Implementation Bill, which now needs to be voted by the country;s Diet.
“With Japan, it’s always a lot of consensus building. I’ve been lobbying there for over 12 years and I am very respectful of the process they want to take, and we are very interested… If it takes two years, five or 10 years from now, I’ll be there… because we are so committed to it,” -said Mr. Ho
Mr, Ho expressed that ven if assuming that the IR Implementation Bill gets passed in the Diet within this year, “they still need time to draft the laws, set up the gaming commission, all the compliance and regulatory areas, and still pick the cities [that will eventually host a casino resort]”.
“So I think the soonest that the bidding process can really start is probably end of next year or even 2020.” – added Mr. Ho.
Shinzo Abe, Japan’s Prime Minister, highlighted the bill’s impact on tourism and projected it will have visitors from all over the world visiting the country to visit the soon-to-be-built casino resorts. The bill sets a nationwide three casino cap, in addition to a fixed tax rate of 30 per cent on GGR generated by casino resorts. It also sets a €45 casino entry fee for locals and limits casino visits to three times a week and 10 times a month.
Source: European Gaming Media and Events