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Japan IR Legislative Timeline Update

By: Bay City Ventures Managing Director, Joji Kokuryo

Twenty-three months since the passing of the Integrated Resort (IR) Implementation Act, Japan’s procedure continues to gradually move forward. However, there are still many major steps that must be accomplished for the gaming industry to lay its roots in this East Asian country.

In order to understand the current timeline, it is vital to take note of the key components of the law.The central government issues a Basic Policy, or Fundamental Policy as some call it, that provides guidelines for the local governments and their IR operators to follow. The local governments, if they wish to apply for IR development approval, will also need to come up with their own  implementation Policy, which applies on top of the national Basic Policy. The IR operators will need to comply with both of these policies when making their bids to local governments.

The central government’s Basic Policy had a draft version released last September and the final version was originally slated for an early 2020 release. Since then, the release has been pushed back once to March, and after bribery scandals and COVID-19, the Basic Policy still remains in a draft state as of today. By government order, the Basic Policy must be finalized by July 26th, 2020, or two years within promulgation of the IR Implementation Act, unless a government order is made to change the date.

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