Japan’s governing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its minority partner Komeito on Tuesday submitted to the country’s parliament (pictured) an anti-gambling addiction bill. But the bill is not expected to be passed by lawmakers until the autumn at the earliest.
It had been widely reported in the Japanese media that there was political consensus in Japan such a bill must be passed before the IR (Integrated Resort) Implementation Bill can be enacted. The IR Implementation Bill sets out regulatory specifics of Japan’s nascent casino industry and is a key step in the process of bringing casinos to the Asian nation.
The gambling addiction measure is now likely to be passed in the extraordinary session of the country’s parliament – a body also known as Diet – due to commence in the autumn, according to GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent. The ruling coalition is expected to seek collaboration from minority parties to pass the bill.
The anti-gambling measure was finalised by the governing parties on May 16, with the aim of passing it in the current – ordinary – parliamentary session, which ends on June 18. That aim was reiterated on May 30 by the chief secretaries of the LDP and Komeito respectively. But several sources had indicated the chances of passing the anti-addiction bill in the current Diet session were quite slim.
According to our correspondent, the two parties gave up the idea of passing the addiction measure in this session due to constraints on parliamentary time for other business.
On June 5, a senior member of a lawmaker grouping called the IR Diet Members Association, indicated that the IR Implementation Bill might also be tabled at this autumn’s extraordinary Diet session even if the anti-gambling addiction bill did not pass the Diet during the current, ordinary session.
According to GGRAsia’s correspondent, the anti-gambling measure is a basic framework bill providing the philosophy for an approach to combatting gambling addiction.
Each government ministry tasked with overseeing the currently authorised wagering pastimes and industries in Japan will be required to take measures in line with the basic principles of tackling addiction.
In Japan, it is currently legal to wager on publicly-run horse, boat, motorbike and bicycle races, plus lotteries and football pools. It is also possible to wager on pachinko games.
All these activities are regulated by different bodies. The pachinko industry is regulated by the National Police Agency; the lottery industry is supervised by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and horse races are regulated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Bicycle races and motor sport races are overseen by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and boat races by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
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"If you ask who is controlling [Okada Holdings, the controlling shareholder of conglomerate Universal Entertainment] now, I would say my control was fraudulently taken away from me and I am now doing everything in my power to take it back"
Japanese gaming entrepreneur