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Candidates of the Gambling Regulator of Japan Announced

Candidates of the Gambling Regulator of Japan Announced

Japanese lawmakers have decided to appoint Michio Kitamura as head of the casino future regulatory body. Mr. Kitamura previously served as General Inspector for Compliance at the Ministry of Defense.

Legislators submitted their candidacy for the positionof head of the casino agency along with 31 other candidates for key positions in 12 public sector bodies in both chambers of the Japanese national parliament - the Sejm.

Casinos in Osaka

The government expects that the candidacy of Mr. Kitamura will be approved by the Sejm at its current legislative session, which will last until December 9.

Last month, news appeared that the casino board would be created on January 7, 2020. It will consist of five members, and their responsibilities will include monitoring security issues, conducting investigations and verifying the data of operators who will be selected to create and operate the first integrated resorts with casinos in Japan.

The appointment of each of the five members of the regulatory body must be approved by the Sejm. The members of the group will work for five years.

In addition to Mr. Kitamura, the government also introduced:

  • Hiroyuki Ujikane, former head of the Nagoya Regional Tax Bureau,
  • Psychiatrist Michiko Watari,
  • Noriko Endo, professor of graduate studies at Keio University,
  • Former chief of the Tokyo Police Department, Tateshi Higuchi.

According to experts, the members of the casino commission could meet some resistance from opposition parties.

Japan legalized gambling in online casinos in December 2016, and a law was passed last summer that identified some important aspects related to the creation of a national casino industry. The government will issue up to three licenses for the construction and operation of integrated resorts with special casino gaming rooms.

However, lawmakers have yet to determine where facilities will be located. And then the choice of preferred developers and operators of the first Japanese casinos in the style of Las Vegas will depend on the selected host cities and prefectures.

An important task facing Japanese lawmakers is the publication of the main government policy regarding integrated resorts. A draft version of this program was released in September, and its full version is expected to be published in early 2020. Among other things, the policy will include criteria for the central government to choose where the first casinos in Japan will be located.