Govt to deter fraudulent applications with fines and jail time

Casino operators that are found to have obtained their business licenses through fraudulent means will be fined up to JPY500 million (US$4.7 million), under new legislation.

According to a report from Kyodo News, the government plans to submit the bill on April 27.

The race for obtaining a casino license in Japan began in 2016.

Addressing public concerns, the bill stipulates that the government is responsible for the “prevention of harmful effects associated with the use of casinos,” and will introduce a government-managed license system for the operation of casinos.

A company seeking a casino license will be required to submit a business plan, as well as a copy of rules aimed at addressing gambling addiction. The license will be valid for three years, and will require screening again to renew it.

If an operator is found to have obtained a license through fraudulent means, such as submitting false business plans, the company will be penalized up to 500 million yen, and its executives could face up to five years in prison, or fines of up to 5 million yen.

The bill also restricts local casino entry to no more than three times per week and ten times per month.

Casino workers found to allow customers to exceed those limits will face three years in prison, or a fine of up to 3 million yen, according to the document.

The bill has also set the entrance fee of 6,000 yen. Foreign visitors will not be required to pay an entry fee.