Japan casino bill delayed again; Resort opening could miss Olympics: Sources

TOKYO - Japan's pro-casino lawmakers have given up debating a casino legalisation bill this month and now aim to start discussions in early November, sources familiar with the process said on Wednesday, raising the likelihood no resort will open in time for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Authors of the casino bill previously planned to start discussions sometime around this week and vote on the bill in November. The delay will make it harder to enact the law by the end of this session of parliament on Nov 30, three people familiar with the process told Reuters on Wednesday.

Putting off passage until the next session, expected to start in early 2015, would in turn make it less likely a casino could open in time for the Olympics, as people following the process have said tough logistics make this target a close call.

"We are aiming for early November now," said one parliamentary source who was involved with drafting the bill, regarding the start of parliamentary debate. He declined to be named because plans were not yet official.