Today, the Japanese Government gave the nod to a plan set to limit customers’ access and suspend the cash machines’ installation at betting establishments as part of the Cabinet’s efforts to tackle problem gambling ahead of the first casinos’ launch.
Under the basic gambling law on measures against problem gambling, which was officially brought into action in October 2018, local authorities are required to take action in order to prevent possible gambling-related harm. That is why prefectures nationwide are set to unveil their own strategies in compliance with the Government’s plan.
Yoshihide Suga, the Chief Cabinet Secretary, explained at a government meeting that the Cabinet is willing to roll out measures based on the Government’s basic plan which would prevent gambling-related harm so that a healthy society is created.
The Government of Japan has revealed its willingness to see casino venues being established in up to three locations as part of so-called integrated resorts (IRs) by the middle of 2020s. Casino gambling has been brought to the country in an attempt to make Japan more attractive to foreign tourists and bring additional revenue to regional economies.
Cash Machines to Be Removed from Pachinko Parlors
The basic plan presented by the Government covers three years from fiscal 2019. Under the Japanese Government’s policy, operators of pachinko parlors and slot machines have been required to remove cash machines from their facilities. In addition, such operators have been required to keep track on the number of underage individuals or problem gamblers that can be suspended from entering their premises through the use of an ID check system.
The measures included in the Government’s plan requires a warning about problem gambling and gambling-related harm to be placed in advertising materials, including TV commercials, newspapers and magazines. In addition, a restriction is set on the value of online bets that can be placed on horse races and other events.
The Government has also urged that consultation and treatment hubs should be established in all 47 prefectures of the country, as well as in 20 major cities. Apart from that, the authorities are considering to provide enhanced support to local private organizations which offer special treatment and recovery programs aimed at gambling addicts.
The country ended its long-time casino gambling ban when it passed the new integrated resorts promotion law in July 2018, despite facing the resistance from Japan’s opposition parties. The Government also faced widespread public concern about the possible impact which the new form of gambling could have on society and local communities and promised that it would consider ways to deal with the problem, and most importantly, to try dealing with it before the occurrence of any negative consequences.
Recently, the Japanese Government has come closer to the first integrated resorts offering casino gambling. Last month, the Cabinet gave the green light to the standards which developers will be required to meet when building the facilities. As revealed at the time by the authorities, the first three integrated resorts offering casino gambling are set to start operation by the mid-2020s.