Japan’s anticipated casino resorts would be required to house spaces such as conference and exhibition halls under a government proposal, turning them into so-called integrated resorts that serve as full-on tourist facilities.
The nation’s Diet cleared the way for legislation on casino regulations at the end of last year and a government council that will draw up a framework for the resorts convened for the first time last Thursday.
The country likely will establish two or three such resorts in or after 2020, with hopes that they become the next big tourism driver following the Tokyo Olympics that year.
Integrated resorts “will greatly benefit tourism, regional promotion and job creation” while helping make Japan an international travel destination, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters on Thursday.
The Japanese approach will follow that of Singapore, which requires gambling spaces to be part of comprehensive tourist facilities. The proposal also limits space for the casino sections and requires profits to go toward covering management fees for connected facilities.
Integrated resorts in Singapore draw around 65 million visitors a year and produce at least 20,000 jobs. Japan aims to strengthen the hand of these resorts as growth engines in case the economy loses steam after the planned consumption tax hike in October 2019 and the Olympics.
The government still faces objections to allowing the casinos, including concerns over gambling addiction and other harmful side effects.

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