JAPAN LAWYERS GUIDE 2018/19
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28JAPAN LAWYERS GUIDE 2018/19Introduction to the Japanese Integrated Resort (IR)/Casino LawHitoshi IshiharaAnderson Mōri & TomotsuneOn July 27, 2018, the Act for Development of Speci-ed Complex Tourist Facilities Areas (the “Act”) passed the Japanese Diet, which legalizes gambling to be op-erated by licensed private entities in certain designated locations within Japan. e passage of the Act has garnered strong interest do-mestically and internationally, as it allows the licensed private entities to operate a “Complex Tourist Facilities Areas” (or more commonly referred to as “Integrated Resort” or an “IR”), which by denition under the Act shall include a casino (c.f. Article 2 of the Act). Al-though the Japanese Penal Code (Act No. 45 of 1907) generally prohibits any form of gambling, which to date has only been allowed in connection with public sports and lottery, the Act explicitly legalises gambling in a certain designated area by excluding the application of the Penal Code (c.f. Article 39 of the Act).In this context, one could easily imagine the various le-gal issues that the operators likely would face, such as (i) deep understanding of the Act and various regulations which set out the necessary measures to be taken; (ii) en-gaging in discussion and negotiation processes to obtain licenses and concessions from local governments and the national government; (iii) forming joint ventures with various counterparts; (iv) securing nancing; (v) engag-ing in real estate and resort acquisition and development; and (vi) tax analysis from a legal perspective.While the Act delegates many aspects to the determina-tion by the Cabinet Order and other subordinate rules (in fact there are 331 items that are left for the govern-ment to determine), the Act sets out the overarching principles regarding the following matters: (i)Framework regarding the implementation of IR;(ii)Regulations regarding the casino (gambling) and ca-sino related business (such as the facilities and equip-ment);(iii)Financial aairs; and(iv)Overseeing bodies and penalties.e purpose of this article is to explain some of the key features which should be of interest to those who are considering entering into the Japanese IR/casino mar-ket, and also give guidance on which types of business would require licensing/certication, what sort of pol-icies and agreements are necessary for the implemen-tation of the IR, and the eective date regarding the various portions of the Act 1.Key FeaturesWhile every aspect of the law is important and it is dicult to distinguish which features are the key and which fea-tures are not (and this would depend in part on your par-ticular perspective/interest is this subject), below are some of the “key” features of the Act that have been frequently questioned and discussed during the legislative process.a.Facilies to be established within IRUnder the Act, IR is referred to as “Specied Complex Tourist Facilities (tokutei fukugo kankou shisetsu)”, which includes of the following facilities, each of which is required to meet the standards specied by Cabinet Order (Article 2 (1) of the Act):(i)Casino facilities;(ii)International convention facilities that promote hosting of international conventions and serve for smooth hosting of such conventions;(iii)Facilities to hold exhibitions, trade fairs and other events that provide smooth hosting of internation-al-scale exhibitions, trade fairs or other events;(iv)Facilities that contribute to more attractive tourism in Japan by hosting performances or other activities

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