The Massachusetts Gaming Commission Welcomes Japanese Gaming Delegation

Government officials visit MGC to learn more about the Commonwealth’s comprehensive gaming law and casino licensing process

Recently the Massachusetts Gaming Commission welcomed government officials from Japan’s Office of Integrated Resort Regime Promotion. The integrated resort committee is responsible for implementing Japan’s new gaming law and establishing the regulatory framework to license up to three commercial casinos. Japan legalized casino gambling in July 2018 and anticipates its first integrated resort in mid- 2020s.

Japanese government officials are studying gaming regulatory models around the globe and contacted the MGC to learn more about the Commonwealth’s approach to the development of the overall licensing process and the evaluation strategy for casino applications.  The Japanese delegation noted to MGC that Massachusetts is highly-regarded for its comprehensive gaming statute, extensive evaluation methodology and focus on local control. As Japan considers the development of its casino licensing process, delegation members sought to ascertain a better understanding of MGC’s procedures regarding casino application assessment, economic development, tourism and marketing, mitigation initiatives and the implementation of host and surrounding community agreements.

Japanese representatives met with Chair Cathy Judd-Stein, Commissioner Bruce Stebbins and MGC staff members.  The group discussed the importance of a clearly defined evaluation matrix, the value of emphasizing local control and the significance of prioritizing mitigation efforts. Japanese delegation members also toured MGM Springfield during their visit to Massachusetts.

“Japan is pursuing a licensing model similar to Massachusetts; it is helpful to study how Massachusetts regulators established the evaluation criteria and how they prioritize economic and social impacts,” said Yoshiyuki Miyoshi, deputy counsellor of Japan’s Office of Integrated Resort Regime Promotion.

Commissioner Stebbins added, “The MGC embraces the opportunity to share experiences with our global counterparts. Collaboration is critical to advancing modern strategies and identifying the most promising policies and practices. We are proud of the Commonwealth’s strong gaming law and hope others benefit from its prudence.”

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