Japan Puts In Place Strong Anti-gambling Measures

April 24, 2019 by Ella McDonald

The Japanese government recently approved new measures to limit people’s access to casinos and betting outlets in the country.

Combined with the removal of cash machines in these locations, the government hopes to lessen the spread of gambling-related problems in the country.

These new measures were announced as Japan prepares to issue gaming licenses and open new casinos in the next couple of years.

The above measures will just be a part of the overall measures that Japan puts in place to address problem gambling concerns.

Individual prefectures have also been encouraged by the national government to come up with their own steps on how to counter gambling problems. The new law also requires local governments to take action against the spread of gambling addiction.

In a statement, Yoshihide Suga, Chief Cabinet Secretary said

We will create a healthy society by thoroughly implementing measures based on the basic plan in order to prevent people from finding themselves in difficult situations

According to sources, the details of the plan cover a three-year period starting this year. All gambling venue operators, which include slot machines and pachinko parlors, will have cash machines removed from the premises so that gamblers won’t be able to get money easily. Keirin and horse racing tracks are also included under this mandate.

Additionally, venues are required to restrict access to some people. Pachinko parlors can now be asked to ban customers from playing if family members make a request. Horse race tracks will also be implementing facial recognition software to identify gambling addicts so that they may be stopped from wagering. The problem is that these restrictions have no teeth. According to sources, violating these restrictions carry no penalties.

Gambling addiction treatment is the second prong of the new anti-gambling measures. Advertisements are to be shown on various media channels warning about the dangers of gambling addiction. Furthermore, new gambling addiction treatment facilities are to be set-up by local authorities by 2020.

Response To New Casinos

All of these measures are in preparation of the mega casino resorts that are expected to open in Japan in the coming years. The Japanese government legalized gambling with the main aim of bringing in foreign investment, boosting the economy and its tourism industry.

However, many in the opposition party are concerned about the gambling addiction epidemic that could likely emerge from the casino industry.

Japan’s plan is to build up integrated resorts that combine casinos, restaurants, entertainment venues, hotel, and more. This is similar to what Las Vegas casinos do, offering a variety of experiences alongside their gambling. Top casino operators including Las Vegas Sands and Genting Singapore are eager to secure a casino license in Japan.