Japanese Government Plans to Limit and Track Casino Visits

The Japanese government on Thursday presented lawmakers with a plan to limit the number of times people in the country can make visits to casinos to about 10 visits per month. The plan which is part of the government’s measures to prevent gambling addiction has attracted a lot of attention. This includes opposition by lawmakers who are the members of the Liberal Democratic Party, which is led by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Most of the lawmakers opposing the pan argue that the envisioned restriction, while well-founded, is too strict. Negotiations are underway amid the rather significant differences of opinions between the Japanese government and the ruling coalition of Komeito and the LDP.

Further Legislation Is Required

The casino industry is only beginning to solidify its essence in Japan following the 2017 law that lifted the ban on casino gambling in the country. This was on condition that the casinos would be part of what the government termed as “integrated resorts” – a combination of hotels and large event entertainment facilities. Still, as it turns out, the operation of these venues will be subject to a bit of further legislation.

The proposed plan by the government limits the number of visits to three and seven within 10 and 28 consecutive days respectively. A burning question here is who will be subject to these laws. Well, so long as you are a Japanese national or a foreigner living in the country, these restrictions will apply to you. Foreign tourists are exempted from the restrictions because the government hopes to attract more of them.

In case the law is passed, the government will add the casino visit restrictions to a bill on the under which casino gambling will be introduced. It hopes to submit the bill to the diet by April but there are still a number of hurdles which have created a bit of uncertainty with one of the most significant being the Komeito lawmaker’s resilient opposition of casino gambling.

Japanese-issued My Number identity cards, which have embedded IC chips will be used to keep track of casino visits as proposed by the plan. There is also a bit of doubt regarding the effectiveness of the cards in tracking especially because their issuance rate still stands at somewhere around 10 percent. Operators, on the other hand, have expressed concerns that imply that the restrictions will keep them from making a profit.