The ruling coalition postponed Friday the passage of a bill specifying rules about the structure of planned integrated resorts (IRs) that will feature casinos, amid criticism from opposition parties that little time has been spent deliberating numerous problems with the proposed law.

Speculation is rife that the ruling coalition's decision not to force the bill through a Lower House panel was to avoid a backlash ahead of the Niigata gubernatorial election, set for Sunday.

The coalition between the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito had been aiming for the bill's clear the Lower House committee on Friday, but backed down after facing fierce resistance from the opposition.