Time for time out in Japan casino saga

The outlook for casinos has darkened on Osaka’s Yumeshima island and across Japan due to delays, fastidious regulations and Covid-19.

Efforts to legalize so-called integrated resorts in Japan began in the previous century and passed its final legislative hurdle in July 2018 to the delight of the global gaming industry. Since then, bureaucrats and the pandemic have conspired to delay the process, dissipating enthusiasm. To recapture momentum for casinos, Japan must call time out to fix its regulations. The outcome of casino legalization will impact Japan for decades, so taking a few months to get it right makes overwhelming sense.

Former US diplomat and broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a contributor to Forbes and Inside Asian Gaming, columnist/correspondent for Asia Times, and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.