The government is considering whether to relax its long-standing ban on gambling and allow the establishment of casinos. Charles Lewis asked interviewees in the tourist area of Enoshima in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, what they think about this idea.

Cheryl Ing
Professional volunteer, 51 (American)
I don’t think they should legalize casinos here because gambling brings on lots of associated problems, and the problems outweigh the benefits. They legalized a lottery in California, where I’m from, and it was supposed to benefit schools, but we’re just not seeing it.

Eri Takino
Student, 22 (Japanese)
My image of casinos is that they are something foreign, and I don’t think they would be a good match for Japan and Japanese people. I know some people who gamble but I’m not interested in gambling and I wouldn’t go to a casino if they opened any in this country.

Ben Hinton
Steel fabricator, 36 (Canadian)
There are lots of casinos in my home country, Canada, and they bring lots of money into towns, so why not? I also think everyone, including local residents, should be able to patronize the casinos, not just foreign visitors.

Tomomi Matsukura
Bike shop staff, 36 (Japanese)
I agree with legalizing casino gambling because I like to gamble. If they open casinos here, I hope that Japanese people will be allowed in because I definitely want to go. Casino gambling would also benefit the economy.

Haruki Senba
Student, 22 (Japanese)
I’ve heard casinos would be good for the economy so I’m not opposed to opening them, but I’m concerned about the crime that might be associated with casinos. If they legalize casino gambling, I hope they give appropriate consideration to crime and don’t just think about the economic benefits.

Soldier, 28 (German)
I don’t think Japan should legalize casino gambling. Casino complexes might bring in more foreign tourists and help the economy, but there is too much crime associated with gambling, so I don’t think it would be a good idea.

• Interested in collecting vox pops in your local area? Email community@japantimes.co.jp.

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