The parliamentary membership of Japan’s two governing parties and an opposition party jointly submitted on Wednesday a bill to the country’s parliament on the vexed issue of gambling addiction counter measures, according to GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent
The largest governing grouping, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), its smaller partner Komeito, and the Japan Restoration Party – a numerically small in terms of parliamentary seats but high-profile opposition grouping – are the parties that submitted the bill to the country’s parliament, also known as the Diet. Previously several parties had submitted individual initiatives.
The Japan Restoration Party has its power base in the city of Osaka, a front runner for one of Japan’s three casino licences envisaged for the first phase of liberalisation of the sector.
Gambling addiction counter measures had been trailed by lawmakers, investment analysts and commentators as a necessary precursor to the arrival of casino resorts in Japan.
According to GGRAsia’s correspondent, the only concrete anti-addiction measure proposed is an insistence by the Japan Restoration Party – accepted by the LDP and Komeito – that there should be a system for “stakeholder meetings”, where those defined as problem gamblers, their families and doctors, would be able to monitor the effectiveness of addiction counter measures introduced by the government.
Assuming successful passage of the anti-addiction measure, parliament will then deal with the other key measure – Integrated Resorts Implementation Bill – that was submitted to parliament on April 27. The current ‘ordinary’ session of the legislature ends on June 20. There is also due to be an ‘extraordinary’ session of the bicameral body running from the autumn until prior to the calendar new year.
Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japan’s Deputy Cabinet Secretary, said in an address to the industry at the Japan Gaming Congress in Tokyo on May 10 that he “hoped” opposition parties, including the Japan Restoration Party, would support the casino liberalisation initiative.
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China