With casino bill’s passage, administration may submit gambling addiction prevention legislation early this year

JIJI

The Abe government is considering submitting a bill to the Diet early this year that would create a basic law on preventing gambling addiction, according to sources.

The law is expected to require that gambling service operators, including municipal governments, craft basic plans for toughening gambling regulations, the sources said Sunday.

The move comes after a law that allows casino gambling in integrated resorts that include hotels and entertainment facilities went into force Dec. 26.

The planned addiction prevention law will cover not only casinos but also existing gambling services, including pachinko and horse racing, the sources said.

The central government is hoping to ease public anxiety about casinos and other gambling services by further promoting addiction prevention measures.

It is expected to submit the bill to the Diet during the ordinary session scheduled to kick off Jan. 20, the sources said.

The Abe government plans to draw up guidelines that gambling service operators can use as they consider tougher restrictions.

Possible measures include banning access to gambling venues by suspected addicts at the request of their families and restricting online betting for horse races.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party, its coalition partner, Komeito, the largest opposition Democratic Party and other parties are also considering addiction prevention measures.