Japan’s Ruling Parties to Introduce Responsible Gambling Bill

Japan’s governing Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito plan to introduce a responsible gambling-focused bill, local news outlets have reported. The move comes as a response to multiple concerns voiced over the way the country’s government has been handling problem gambling and gambling addiction among residents.

As reported, the new regulatory framework will encompass pachinko, horse racing, and casino gambling, which was legalized by the Diet late last year.

It is believed that some of the responsible gambling measures will include restrictions related to the number and the length of horse racing events and to the sale of horse betting tickets. What is more, operating hours regulations may be implemented on pachinko, the gambling machines that have long been particularly popular with Japanese gambling customers.

The new law will also require that both the central government and local governments promote responsible gambling actively.

As mentioned above, the Japanese Diet enacted late last year a law that legalized casino gambling within the country’s borders. Under said law, interested developers will be allowed to build up to two integrated resorts on sites in key metropolitan areas. The casino locations will be determined by a separate legislative piece that is hoped to be introduced and voted on by the government by the end of 2017.

The responsible gambling law currently discussed by lawmakers will also contain provisions about the way the new resorts will contribute to the promotion of safe gambling. According to Japanese media, the government may go so far as to impose certain restrictions on the casino projects’ scale, admission limitations, and a cap on the amounts of money players could spend.

The ruling parties are expected to complete their lists of discussion points by the end of the month. As reported by local news outlets, the new law would aim to demonstrate the government’s involvement in the promotion of responsible gambling and the prevention of gambling addiction issues.

Since Japanese lawmakers legalized casino gambling in the country, headlines have flooded media that the country is eyed by some of the world’s biggest gambling developers and operators. The likes of Las Vegas Sands, Hard Rock International, and MGM Resorts International have already voiced interest in entering the Japanese casino market that according to some analysts’ forecasts, could be worth $20 billion, once the integrated resorts are built and operational.

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