The prefectural assembly in Osaka, a Japanese community in the running for an integrated resort (IR) with casino, voted on Wednesday in favour of a draft ordinance for promotion of countermeasures regarding gambling addiction.
The local draft Basic Law on Measures Against Gambling Addiction is said to be the first of its type to be proposed by a local government in Japan. Such as step is also a condition imposed by the national government on any local authority that wishes to host a casino resort.
Osaka’s anti-addiction draft ordinance will be discussed during the current autumn session of the prefectural assembly, which started on September 28, and runs until December 15.
Nagasaki prefecture, as well as Osaka (pictured), applied by the April deadline for the right to have an IR.
The mooted Osaka project – with an initial investment of JPY1.08 trillion (US$7.4 billion at current exchange rates) – is slated for Yumeshima, an artificial island in Osaka bay.
It had been previously mentioned that decisions on both applications might be made in principle by this autumn, but an Osaka MP recently called into question that timetable, asking the national government to give approval by “March 2023 at the latest”, fearing that if not, the “Osaka IR schedule could be delayed by one to three years”.
According to information collated by GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent, the main elements of the Osaka draft ordinance cover policy on dealing with gambling harm, in accordance with the national Basic Law on Measures Against Gambling Addiction, which took effect in October 2018.
The Osaka measure mentions what is termed a “headquarters” to promote the necessary protective steps, led by the prefectural governor.
The draft also states the prefecture would set up an “expert panel” on the issue. Additionally, Osaka would establish a special fund to support the prefecture in promoting the desired measures.
The Osaka Restoration Association, which in partnership with another political grouping – Komeito – controls a majority of seats in the Osaka prefectural assembly, had said in late September it would submit a draft ordinance on the subject.
In a May session of the Osaka prefectural assembly, the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan – which at national level governs with Komeito – had presented its version of such a draft ordinance. But the majority coalition had blocked that draft reportedly because they thought it lacked effectiveness, and due to concerns about how measures would be funded.
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