Nippon Ishin Presents Gaming Bill

Japan’s Nippon Ishin no Kai Party has proposed new problem-gambling legislation, a bid by the Osaka-centric party to help that city win one of two integrated resorts licenses soon to be awarded in Japan.

Addresses public fears about gaming

Last month, the Osaka, Japan-based Nippon Ishin no Kai Party proposed a problem-gambling bill designed to put the city in contention for a gaming license in the country.

Last December the Japanese government approved the first of two bills to launch a legal casino industry in Japan; the cities of Osaka and Yokohama are seen as frontrunners for the first two licenses; Tokyo also has been mentioned as a possible contender.

The Japan Times called the Nippon Ishin an “Osaka-centric party, which is close to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on many issues.” According to the Times, the party “hopes that cooperation with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s LDP on the issue will help ensure the city becomes one of those picked for a casino resort license, if not the first.”

Hitoshi Asada, the party’s policy chief, told the newspaper the bill “sets out a variety of measures to deal with problem gamblers to ensure that the problem is dealt with in a comprehensive manner.” It was submitted to the Upper House on February 9, in part to address fears among the public that casino gaming in the country will increase crime, suicide, poverty, indebtedness and other social problems. The bill calls for basic preventive measures that must be revised at least once every five years. Municipalities would also have to develop problem-gambling programs, which would also be subject to review every five years.

The bill calls for casino entry fees and limits on casino advertising, among other measures, plus a public relations campaign to create greater awareness of the problem gambling.

Nippon Ishin co-leader and Osaka Governor Ichiro Matsui hopes to see an integrated resort open by 2023, “to welcome the World Expo in 2025.”