Japan establishes Casino Administration Committee

The Casino Administration Committee will manage and supervise Japan’s future IR operators.

The Japanese government set up a special organism to supervise casino-centered resorts projects. The Casino Administration Committee (CAC) will be an independent entity with a strong mandate. Michio Kitamura, former head of the Fukuoka High Public Prosecutors Office, will head the CAC, with four associates: Hiroyuki Ujikane, former chief of the National Tax Agency’s Nagoya Regional Taxation Bureau; Michiko Watari, a psychiatrist; Noriko Endo, a professor of energy science at Keio University’s graduate school; and Tateshi Higuchi, former head of Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department. The inaugural meeting will be held on January 10th.

The Committee will manage and supervise the nation’s IR operators. In addition to granting the licenses necessary for casino operation (or revoke them), it will also handle measures for problem gambling and money laundering. Besides, it will perform background checks, investigate the relationship between operators and anti-social forces, including organized crime and the criminal records of officers, and overseas accounts.

Japan will soon formulate a fundamental policy, setting out criteria for IR facilities, incorporating the opinions of the CAC. Applications from local governments and operators will be accepted between January 2021 and July 2021, and up to three locations will be certified. These facilities are expected to open around the midpoint of the decade. Currently, Yokohama, Osaka, Wakayama and Nagasaki have announced their intention to make a bid. Both Hokkaido and Chiba have withdrawn.