Addicted To Casinos?

Following the forced passage of a bill to legalize casino gambling in the Japanese National Assembly in December, the next item on the agenda toward actually realizing casino resorts in Japan is working out regulations.

AP Photo / Matt Rourke
– Casino

One political party, Nippon Ishin no Kai, is trying to come up with legislation to address gambling addictions, which critics of casinos say will undoubtedly increase once they open for business. The party, however, is not advocating for addiction countermeasures in order to restrain gambling but rather in an attempt to streamline the approval process so that developers can start building casinos as soon as possible.

Gambling addiction is the main argument that critics use to oppose casinos, so Ishin no Kai is trying to come up with a bill that satisfies them without putting undue pressure on the nascent casino gambling industry. The bill incorporates the inclusion of casino management in the promotion of anti-addiction measures and establishes a basic program to address the problem on a national basis with the help of professionals. It would also regulate what kind of advertising casinos could carry out.

According to the Japan Times, the party’s long game, however, is to help it secure gambling licenses, once regulations are in place, for the city of Osaka, which is the party’s base of operations.

Several cities are vying for licenses, with Tokyo the obvious favorite among potential casino operators due to its concentration of wealth and its international profile. Ishin no Kai thinks that if it can establish a program of viable gambling addiction measures on a local level in Osaka, the city will be able to gain a license before any other region and thus take the lead in the casino-centered integrated resort industry