Lawmakers Working on Ways to Avoid Gambling Addiction in Japan

Japan will soon be home to three major casino resorts. Many analysts claim that Japan will become one of the most lucrative casino markets in the world. This week, lawmakers in the country are working on plans to stop gambling addiction in Japan from becoming an issue.

It’s clear that the Japanese government is taking a very close look at the gambling industry. Officials here want to avoid the same problem gambling issues that are plaguing countries like the UK and Ireland. Here’s what’s happening right now.

Japan Has Officially Legalized Casino Gambling

It’s well-known that Japan has some of the strictest gambling laws in the world. For decades, the only legal form of gambling here was mahjong. In July of 2018, this all changed.

That month, politicians in Japan approved plans to open three casino resorts in the country. It was a huge turn of events, as the government previously claimed they would never allow casinos to run in Japan. Before any of these gaming venues open up, several steps must be taken.

First, cities here must bid for the right to host a casino resort. Several cities have already expressed interest in having a casino, including Yokohama, which recently announced that it’s entering the bidding process. Tokyo and Osaka are very likely to receive casino rights as well.

A number of major companies have also announced that they are working to open a casino resort in Japan. Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts, and Wynn Resorts are all working to gain a casino license in this country. The Japanese casino bill mandates that each casino offers a range of non-gambling activities. Each of the casino resorts here will offer entertainment and shopping options.

Politicians Are Concerned About the Potential for Gambling Addiction in Japan

Part of the reason why there are strict gambling laws is to limit gambling addiction in Japan. Many countries with liberal gambling laws are dealing with major gambling addiction issues right now. The United Kingdom, for example, is home to thousands of problem gamblers. The UK government is currently working on ways to stop this issue.

A draft of Japan’s policy on casino resorts will become public next month. This draft will evaluate different locations for an integrated resort and discuss plans to avoid gambling addiction. The government already has a few plans to limit gambling.

For example, all Japanese citizens must pay a $57 fee to enter casinos. Residents here are also limited to gambling 10 times per month and three times per week.

Many local individuals in Japan are also concerned with the potential risk of gambling addiction. Nearly two-thirds of people responding to a Kyodo News poll stated they opposed casinos opening in Japan.

There are still plans being discussed for national and local governments to help tackle the issue of gambling addiction in Japan. Hopefully, the draft being revealed next month will explain how the government can deal with these potential issues.

Online Gambling in Japan Remains Banned

The government of Japan realizes how effective casinos can be in boosting tourism. Jim Gordan, president of Wynn Resorts Japan, believes Japan is the perfect place to host integrated resorts.

“As you know, the government has set goals for the next 20 years to raise tourism to a very high level. We like that. It’s also a society that has had an interest in gaming – they certainly have gaming now with pachinko, horses and motorboats,” he said.

Unfortunately, the government here is showing no signs of legalizing online gambling.

Making wagers over the internet is illegal here despite the huge potential for revenue earnings. There are several online gambling sites in Europe that accept Japanese players, yet none of these sites are regulated by the Japanese government.

In time, this could change. The success of land-based casinos here may push the government to begin regulating online gambling in Japan as well. It’s likely that numerous restrictions would be placed on this industry.

Do you think gambling addiction in Japan will become a major issue? How can the government avoid this? Let us know in the comments section below!

Kevin Oldroyd

A longtime sports and gambling enthusiast, Kevin looks to present up-to-date and reliable information for readers. If he’s not writing, he’s probably watching MMA or playing blackjack.

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