Japan closer to online gaming legislation

Last week a group of Japanese lawmakers sent a bill to parliament with a proposal on how to legalize and regulate land-based and online gambling in the island state. Pro-casino lawmakers have been more and more vocal in the last few weeks regarding submitting the bill during the current session, which has finally happened. Now its up to parliament to approve or reject the bill but a decision is expected to be reached within the first 6 months of 2014.

Gambling is illegal yet it remains one of the most popular pasttimes of their citizens. A well regulated industry could benefit the country and bring in as much as $15 billion per year, effectively making Japan the second largest gambling market in the world (right after Macau).

Hopes are upand it is widely believed the bill will pass as long as the Liberal Democratic Party remains in power; even prime minister Shinzo Abe supports the bill completely. The goal is to have the first casino resort operational by 2020, in time for the Tokyo Olympics.

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