One of the legislators spearheading the bill to legalise casinos in Japan says its passage might be delayed.

Takeshi Iwaya said he is extremely worried the bill might not get passed mid-year despite cross-party support because of procedural issues. Iwaya did not say how long passage might be delayed.

However, he did comment on potential projects, saying ideally foreign casino operators would join forces with local Japanese companies on projects.

Japan needs the expertise and knowledge of foreign companies, but foreign operators might have trouble adapting to Japan’s particular characteristics, he said.

Particulars of the bill remain scarce, though it is widely thought the bill will initially allow a mega resort in Tokyo and another in Osaka, with regional casinos coming later.

Iwaya also indicated two casinos in outlying regions could be part of the initial roll-out. All the major casino operators and a number of Japanese companies are interested in developing casinos there, with several already promising multi-billion dollar investments.