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Novomatic, the global gaming giant, has signed a patent cross-license agreement with industry leader IGT. Under the terms of the agreement, Novomatic will be able to offer games, including patented game features, from the IGT portfolio and will pay ongoing licensing fees to IGT to do so. The financial terms of the agreement remain confidential. Reaching this cross-licensing agreement with IGT enhances Novomatic to expand their global strategy with access to compelling product features that have proven to be successful in North America and international markets. Also Novomatic will take this opportunity to expand their creative capacity with this vast portfolio of game features. IGT welcomed Novomatic to a comprehensive group of gaming industry leaders who have created a vast resource of game features patents. IGT’s collaborative effort to build upon North America’s largest slot game feature patent portfolio now encompasses a global patent pool that IGT believed could foster continued industry-wide innovation.

The coalition partner of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is set to call for a minimum of ¥8,000 (MOP600 or USD75) entry fee for Japanese residents to enter the nation’s casinos, a four-fold increase on the fee previously proposed by the LDP as part of its policy to combat gambling addiction. This ¥8,000 (MOP600 or USD75) entry fee is almost identical to the SG$100 (MOP608 or USD76) fee charged in Singapore and supports previous predictions that Japanese lawmakers would base their own IR regulations on Singapore’s model.

The stipulation forms part of an interim report being prepared by Komeito outlining its policy recommendations for the impending IR Implementation Bill to be submitted to the Diet in the coming months. It was only last month that the LDP proposed a ¥2,000 fee (MOP152 or USD19) for all Japanese residents to enter the nation’s casinos, with foreign tourists to be exempt. Under Komeito’s plan, that figure would jump to ¥8,000 (MOP600 or USD76) as a understanding from a wide range of Japanese people by introducing casino restrictions in the world’s best standards. The draft interim report supports the government’s proposal to limit the total area covered by any single integrated resort to 15,000 square meters – also identical to Singapore – and the casino space to 3% of total floor space.

Reiterated in the interim report is Komeito’s preference for the number of casino licenses issued to be limited to “two or three”, while the party backs measures to limit residents to a maximum three visits a week and 10 visits a month. The LDP has previously suggested a tax rate of 30% for annual revenue up to ¥300 billion (Mop22.4 billion or US$2.8 billion) for each IR, rising to 50% for annual revenue above ¥400 billion(Mop29.9 billion or US$3.73 billion).

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