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Japan has suffered a slight setback to passing a bill which would legislate land based casino gambling inside its borders, with the scheduled parliamentary session to discuss the introduction of the bill shelved until at least the second half of 2016.

Mikio Tanji, the chairman of Gaming Capital Management, explained that discussions concerning the passing of the bill would most likely not be held until between September to December this year, and that would likely push back the date of selecting a location for the country’s first ever Integrated Resort (IR) to 2019 (as the best case scenario).

Looking long term, the grand opening of an inaugural casino complex in Japan would most likely not be viable until 2022.

It was originally hoped that the first IR would open in time for the 2020 Olympic Games, but that is looking more and more doubtful. There are currently four sites in the running to host a casino resort complex, and they include, Yokohama (the front runner), Osaka, Hokkaido and Nagasaki.

Nagasaki would ideally like to build an adjacent casino gaming complex to its Huis Ten Bosch resort, but Tanji said it was unclear whether the city would be able to obtain a permit to do so.

The introduction of an integrated casino resort in Yokohama would provide a 414.4 billion yen ($3.36 billion) boost to the local economy, along with a direct impact of 256.16 billion yen and the creation of more than 41,000 jobs, according to a recent study.

According to Fitch Ratings, two IRs in Tokyo and Osaka could generate approximately seven billion dollars in gross gaming revenues.

Tanji made it clear that there is still a lot of work to do before discussions about site locations can begin, as numerous political issues do have the potential to stand in the way of the passing of the new bill.

With Japan touted as being one of the most rewarding markets for a land based casino gambling complex in Asia (behind Macau), we wait in anticipation to see what happens with the bill in the coming months.

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