A member of Japan’s biggest opposition party has submitted a bill that would discard the law allowing for integrated casino resorts in the country.
The move comes after allegations of bribery related to the development of integrated resorts in Japan against Zhengming Pan, director and CEO of 500.com, a Chinese betting lottery and betting operator.
Pan stood aside on January 6th until an internal investigation into the accusations is completed. The emerging scandal additionally resulted to fresh opposition to the original Integrated Resorts Bill, which was passed in July 2018.
The bill was submitted by ex-Finance Minister Jun Azumi, a member of the Constitutional Democratic Party, which is the official opposition to Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party-led coalition government.
The bill would come into force immediately and constitutes a provision that any confidential info known to members of the Casino Management Committee regulatory arm may not be revealed.
However, as the governing parties are less likely to back Azumi’s bill, its chances of going through are very low.
The controversy also appears to have caused the government to delay the publication of the guidelines for choosing the host cities of the integrated resorts, which had initially been planned for release this month. Local media reports that additional changes may now be made to the policy.
Operators that have shown interest in establishing an integrated resort in Japan include Caesars Entertainment, Melco Resorts, Hard Rock International, Gaming and Entertainment, and MGM, which promised a special Japanese, world-class integrated resort.
In November of last year, Japan’s government nominated Michio Kitamura, former inspector general of legal compliance at the Defence Ministry, to chair the Casino Management Committee.
This followed a public consultation on proposed regulations for integrated resorts, which started in September and closed on October 3, 2019.