Tokyo, Japan –The recent news of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s reisgnation is bound to complicate an already delayed plan to launch casino resorts in the country.
Abe expressed his eagerness to push forward with the casino development despite the coronavirus pandemic, in his parliamentary remarks in June.
“Tourism is expected to recover once the infections disease is contained. IR will help Japan become an advanced tourism country,” Abe said talking about the development of Integrated Resorts that house casinos.
The Japanese government has plans to develop up to three casino resorts as the country’s engine to economic growth. It planned to introduce its criteria for choosing hosts as early as January this year.
However, in December, a bribery scandal involving Tsukasa Akimoto, state minister in charge of the casino development, was exposed and forced the government to delay the process of formalizing the criteria.
The coronavirus outbreak added an additional blow to the casino development delay. “We need to focus on responses to the coronavirus. When the criteria will be formalized remains to be seen,” a government official was quoted as saying.
Abe’s resignation may delay the process even further, and eventually affect the government’s goal of opening casino resorts in the mid-2020s.