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Japan Enhances Problem Gambling Measures ahead of New Casinos

Japanese lawmakers craft new rules to curb problem gambling ahead of the opening of the country’s first legal land-based casinos

The Japanese government announced Thursday plans to roll out a set of measures aiming to address widespread gambling addiction concerns as part of a larger legislative effort drafted by lawmakers to pave the way for the opening of the nation’s first casinos.

The Japanese Diet intends to require horse race and pachinko operators to use facial recognition systems to prevent gambling addicts and problem gamblers from fueling their addictive behavior by being easily admitted to gambling facilities.

Lawmakers believe the implementation of facial recognition across racetracks and pachinko parlors could help operators identify people who have self-excluded from gambling or whose families have requested restrictions on their entry into gambling facilities on their behalf.

Japanese officials said, cited by local news outlet the Japan Times, that their plan to introduce further limitations regarding gambling addicts’ admission to pachinko parlors and racetracks would also include the removal of automated teller machines from all existing gambling locations.

Lawmakers’ plan will cover betting on bicycle and speedboat racing, the other two legal gambling options in Japan, aside from pachinko machines and betting on horse races. The government will review the new problem gambling prevention measures every three years, it also became known.

When Will the New Measures Take Effect?

The government said Thursday that the facial recognition measures and other related restrictions will be introduced at pachinko parlors during fiscal year 2019, which ends in March 2020. As part of the plan, the nation’s welfare ministry will examine the effects gambling addiction has on child abuse during the same fiscal year.

The draft legislation introduced on Thursday also calls for Japan’s education ministry to step up education efforts on gambling addiction across the country’s schools.

The newly penned legislation further includes the implementation of a system that will enable problem gamblers to set a maximum limit on the number of horse and boat race betting tickets they can purchase online. That system is expected to be rolled out during fiscal year 2020.

The nation’s gambling industry will be required to craft advertising guidelines that will aim to quench problem gambler’s desire to gamble. The plan involves setting up addiction consultation offices in Japan’s prefectures and major cities. That part of the government’s scheme is expected to be realized around fiscal year 2020.

As mentioned above, the newly introduced framework aims to pave the way for gambling addiction prevention measures that would curb the negative impact expected to be incurred once the nation’s new casinos open doors.

Japan legalized casino gambling in December 2016 and is now crafting the necessary regulations and rules under which the country’s casino industry will be run. Problem gambling and gambling addiction has been a major topic of discussion since the legalization of casino gambling in the country, which has already been battling the consequences of the exploding popularity of pachinko.

According to a recent study, around 3.2 million Japanese nationals have suffered from gambling addiction at some point in their lives. There have been concerns that number could increase drastically once casinos become operational in the mid-2020s.

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The post Japan Enhances Problem Gambling Measures ahead of New Casinos appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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March 2019
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