Japan may delay decision on potential casino resorts

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Japan may delay decision on potential casino resorts

TOKYO Kyodo said it would be difficult to decide by the end of the year whether to approve proposals by Osaka and Nagasaki prefectures to host casino resorts, which could delay their planned openings in 2029 and 2027.

The city of Osaka and Osaka Prefecture in western Japan and Nagasaki Prefecture in southwestern Japan are interested in hosting so-called integrated resorts, consisting of a large hotel, conference rooms and gambling areas, assuming approval sometime after fall this year and Oct. 1, respectively.

The screening process has been a long one with discussions between the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and the local governments still under way.

Their resort plans, detailing the location, layout and layout of facilities and expenditures, were presented to the ministry in April amid public concerns over gambling addiction and the viability of the projects that were called into question after the COVID 19 epidemic.

Osaka plans to build a resort on Yumeshima, an artificial island in Osaka Bay. Its proposed measures to prevent land subsidence and soil contamination have been under scrutiny.

Nagasaki has faced questions about the feasibility of its funding plan, which is based on the participation of foreign financial institutions.

A ministry official said at a meeting with the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan that it appears to be quite hard to make a decision on the proposals within the year.

Japan legalized casinos in 2018 in an effort to boost tourism and regional economies. Osaka and Nagasaki are the only candidates to host casino resorts under the country's liberalized gambling laws.