Japan Regulation Nears, Leading with IR

Published December 6, 2019 by Lee R

Japan Regulation Nears, Leading with IR

Japan's appeal as a large untapped market is undeniable, and new plans are giving the model there stronger visibility.

The large-scale Japan market is moving forward with large scale projects to start.

The IR Project

In its move towards regulation, one of the world's largest economies has set up a Casino Management Commission to oversee the arrival of the first Integrated Resort project in the country of Japan.

The Inauguration

The Gambling Commission will be inaugurated in January, with Japan establishing the country’s preliminary gambling commission on January 7, 2020.

New Commission Body

Announced via ordinance last October 18th, the new Casino Management Commission (CMC) is preparing to operate Japan’s Cabinet Office as appointed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government.

The Vetting Process

Before officials can run the Commission or be appointed, Japan national Parliament the Diet will vet candidates. Ultimately, a total of five people are to be elected as members and serve five-year terms.

Some Sample Tasks

The Commission is going to take on the tasks necessary to prepare the market for the Integrated Resort (IR) project coming up in 2024/2025. Tasks include ensuring all security measures are upheld, and that operators pass through necessary background checks, among other things.

IRs First

Japan will launch with three integrated resorts, with the first arriving in 2024/2025, with bidders from multiple regions in Japan pushing to secure the inaugural project. Three brands will initially be allowed to open casinos, with gambling believed to remain banned to local residents.

Framework Components

Agreed upon in September 2019, Japan's lawmakers have agreed on a framework that includes a list of private-sector partners; an outline of financial benefits for the region; and potential gambling harm issues and solutions, with Japan Tourism Agency to select the sites and operators.


Interest is strong, with a strong sampling of prefectures and international businesses showing interest in investing significant capital in building an integrated resort in Japan.

Brands of Interest

Among the global brands already said to be in talks with various prefecture districts and government officials within Japan include Galaxy Entertainment Group LTD; Genting Singapore Ltd; Hard Rock International; Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment; Las Vegas Sands Corp; and Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd among others.


In a market projected to be one of the world's largest, where analysts estimate that Japan’s casino business will generate $25 billion annually, it is no wonder so many corporate gambling giants are seeking a foothold in the IR projects that will launch the industry in one of the world's strongest economies.

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