Osaka-based party introduces problem gambling bill

Osaka-based national political party Nippon Ishin no Kai has proposed new legislation dealing with problem gambling, with the hopes the city will be selected for a casino resort license.

According to a report from The Japan Times, the new bill was submitted on Feb. 9 with the aim of addressing problem gambling and other social ills that could arise with the introduction of a casino resort.

“The Nippon Ishin bill sets out a variety of measures to deal with problem gamblers to ensure that the problem is dealt with in a comprehensive manner,” said Hitoshi Asada, the party’s policy chief.

The bill also stipulates the need for the government to establish a basic program to deal with problem gambling, with revisions at least once every five years.

Other measures include measures for having specialized medical professionals and a medical system in place to provide assistance, and PR activities to educate and remind people of the dangers of gambling.

The Osaka-centric party hopes the bill would push the debate on casino rules, as any delays could jeopardize Osaka’s own timetable for a casino.

“Ideally, at least part of an integrated resort would open in Osaka by 2023, and that would be in operation to welcome the World Expo in 2025,” said Nippon Ishin co-leader and Osaka Gov. Ichiro Matsui.