IR bill to throw unwelcome spotlight on gambling addiction

The single-biggest political obstacle faced by local governments and international operators as they select possible locations for Japanese IRs is the intense public fear about potential negative effects from gambling addiction. By Michael Penn, AGB Nippon Local communities do not want to see their own sons and daughters become addicted to slot machines and table games, nor do they want to see addicts from afar roll up and cause disruption within their quiet towns. To date, not a single opinion poll has shown a majority or even a plurality in favor of hosting casinos in any part of Japan. Policymakers are clearly aware of this major challenge and so it is little surprise that the officials and experts compiling the IR Implementation Bill are reportedly adopting a highly restrictive approach. The plan will likely limit the casino element to within a single, small portion of each IR, with entry tightly monitored and...

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