(ATR) Tokyo will most likely not have casinos in time for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.
Lawmakers reintroduced a bill to legalize casino-style gambling during Japan's recent Diet session.
According to The Japan Times,
Osaka and Yokohama are the front runners to host the first integrated resorts (IRs) with casinos.
Osaka Governor Ichiro Matsui has said that despite concerns surrounding the bill put forth to the Diet, he hopes to open a gambling resort complex on the island of Yumeshima by 2020.
"The Tokyo Olympics will bring lots of people around the world to Japan, and, along with an integrated resort (IR), all of Osaka wants to have something for them," Matsui told reporters on Monday.
But Takashi Kiso, CEO of the Tokyo-based International Casino Institute, says it would be almost impossible for local governments who win casino licenses to open any planned integrated resorts in just five years.
"The only way an IR will open [by 2020] is if the government allows it to partially open before the Olympic Games," Kiso told The Japan Times
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dissolved the Lower House in November 2014. At that time, several bills were still in discussion including a bill that would have permitted casino-style gambling at designated integrated resorts.
Over 20 municipalities have expressed interest in such resorts, which would also incorporate hotels, theme parks, convention facilities, shopping malls, and entertainment venues.
Written by Nicole Bennett
Home page photo: Getty Images
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