A new gambling-related bill was rolled out in Japan. Yesterday, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, its coalition partner Komeito and the nominal opposition party Nippon Ishin no Kai submitted a piece of legislation to the Lower House, with the measure being especially focused on dealing with problem gambling.
The new bill comes as an attempt of Japan’s major political parties to address the increasing public fears that the opening of the country’s casino gambling market will result in a sharp increase in the number of people suffering from gambling addiction. According to a survey which was conducted by the Health Ministry in October 2017, approximately 3.2 million of the local residents or about 3.6% of the country’s population, were suspected to be addicted to certain types of gambling activities.
In the light of the integrated casino resorts legalization, the Japanese Government has pledged to do everything possible in order to help problem gamblers deal with their addiction and to keep local customers safe.
Under the proposed measure, a special commission headed by the Chief Cabinet Secretary is set to be established. The commission is to be entitled with the responsibility to propose measures aimed at tackling problem gambling, including the establishment of specialised medical facilities and providing gambling addicts with social welfare support.
Previously, supporters of integrated casino resorts have pledged that the opening of the Japanese casino gambling sector would not have a negative impact on society. Now, the newly-proposed bill that is set to establish basic rules on casinos’ operation. The Government has until the end of the ongoing Diet session to decide whether to give a final approval of the two measures.
Customer Protection Set as Paramount Goal
As revealed by the Governor of Osaka Ichiro Matsui, the Diet debate and consideration proceeds smoothly, with the Integrated Resorts Bill set to be turned into law. After this happens, the first integrated casino resort is expected to be established by the year 2024.
At the beginning of April, the ruling coalition in Japan succeeded to reach an agreement on the main aspects of the new casino legislation. Under the agreement, three locations are to host the country’s first integrated casino resorts, with their number expected to be reconsidered at a later time. In addition, a casino entry fee of ¥6,000 is to be imposed on local players, while foreign visitors will not be required to pay anything when entering a casino in Japan.
The Government has also been considering other restrictions related to casino entrance in terms of Japanese players. For example, local residents will not be allowed to enter a casino more than three times on a weekly basis and more than ten times every month. The local authorities have been primarily focused not only on expanding the country’s gambling market, but also to do that in a manner that would guarantee customers’ safety.