Operators seek to win over Japanese

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Global casino operators sought to win over a wary Japanese public at an exhibition on Wednesday in the city of Yokohama, after the arrest of a ruling party lawmaker on suspicion of taking bribes has stirred up opposition to the industry.

Anti-gambling protesters gathered outside the exhibition in the port city, which is among the Japanese cities expected to bid for government licences to open integrated resorts.

Japanese prosecutors last month arrested Tsukasa Akimoto, previously a senior vice minister overseeing casino policy, on suspicion of taking bribes. Akimoto has denied the allegations.

US casino operator Wynn Resorts’ development president, Chris Gordon, said Yokohama was “an excellent place for an integrated resort” and he was not worried about a possible slowdown in the licensing process in the interests of good practice.

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