Rules for contact between casino operators and government officials to be stricter - IAG

Wednesday 5th February 2020

Kazuyoshi Akaba, Japan's Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation, indicated at the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives on Wednesday that rules dictating records of meetings between candidate IR operators and cabinet members would be tightened.

In the wake of the bribery scandal involving multiple Japanese lower house members, the government is drafting a Fundamental Policy with criteria for the development zone selection process and, within these, rules on how and when casino operators can come in contact with the three highest ranks in a ministry, such as the cabinet or public servants.

Minister Akaba said, "The national government is in a position to accept and approve applications from local governments and operators, and must ensure an extremely high level of fairness and transparency as well as maintaining strict rules from the perspective of self-regulation.

"We are considering stipulating the number of participants allowed as well as methods for creating and storing records of meetings with operators, and the scope of staff members such rules would apply to."

In local municipalities actively seeking an IR bid, the location of meetings with operators would be limited to government office buildings, with at least two local government members in attendance.

The final nature of the new contact rules are expected to be drafted based on arguments presented in the Diet and by the Casino Administration Committee, Japan's new IR regulator.

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