Japan’s citizen number identification system could be utilised to monitor visits and frequency of visits to Japanese casinos by Japanese nationals and foreign nationals living in that country.
The suggestion emerged following Tuesday’s fifth-round meeting of a panel of experts advising Japan’s Office of Integrated Resort Regime Promotion – known as the IR Promotion Secretariat. The latter is made up of professional civil servants advising the government on the IR (Integrated Resorts) Implementation Bill.
The news on possible use of the “My Number Card” system – that assigns a unique numbers-based code to each Japanese national or foreign national that is legally resident in Japan – appears to be one of the clearest indications so far that Japan might stop short of an outright ban on locals gambling at any Japanese casino resorts eventually built.
According to GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent, use of the My Number Card could give casino operators the ability to know exactly which locals were using a facility.
In addition, a planned body – referred to at this stage in reports as the “casino control commission” and in likelihood established under the Cabinet Office – would be able to maintain player-tracking records relating to locals, based on the My Number Card.
Details of the control commission are due to be discussed in July according to information emerging from Tuesday’s meeting of experts.
At this stage the suggestion seems to be that a cap on the number of casino visits permitted for a local in any given period would be decided by the government. Locals would however – with certain exceptions – be allowed to set their own limit on their gambling spend in a given period.
The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper suggested in a Wednesday report that the government would propose a framework for capping the number of weekly and the number of monthly casino visits, with the maximum number of entries to be decided later.
The news outlet added casino operators would be required to restrict the entry of self-declared gambling addicts or those whose families declare them to be addicted, while people aged under 20 and members of organised crime groups would be prohibited from entering casinos.
GGRAsia’s correspondent noted that – while all locals and resident foreign nationals are assigned a unique citizen identification number – so far only approximately 10 percent of the population have an actual plastic card featuring that assigned number.
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"Our main focus is just making sure – and particularly within Australia – to the maximum extent possible, that we can have uniformity [among different jurisdictions]"
Chief executive of the Australia-based Gaming Technologies Association