National / Politics

Komeito favors ¥8,000 admission fee for casinos to match Singapore

JIJI

Komeito, the junior coalition partner of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, plans to call for imposing an admission fee of at least ¥8,000 when Japan’s first casinos open, according to a report.

The proposal, designed to ensure Japan’s admission fees will be on a par with Singapore’s, is included in an interim report drafted by a Komeito team for a bill to introduce casinos as part of so-called integrated resorts in Japan. The government wants to charge ¥2,000 for admission.

The report, seen Friday, also said integrated resorts should be limited to two or three locations in Japan. The government plans to submit the bill to the Diet before it closes in June.

The LDP has drafted a report that envisions lower admission fees and four to five resorts spread out nationwide, apparently taking into consideration municipalities and resort operators seeking big economic benefits.

The Komeito team’s draft places greater emphasis on preventing gambling addiction, highlighting the two parties’ differences on the issue.

“It’s extremely important to gain understanding from a wide range of Japanese people by introducing casino restrictions in the world’s best standards,” the Komeito draft said.

Komeito’s draft backs the government’s plan to limit casino visits by Japanese to three times a week and 10 times per month. The LDP wants a less-restrictive rule.

The draft also supports the government’s proposal to restrict the floor space at casinos to 15,000 sq. meters.

The LDP and Komeito are expected to launch full discussions on the issue this week to form a consensus as the ruling bloc.

The introduction of the government’s bill is expected to be delayed until at least April because the parties’ discussions are likely to take time.