Lawmakers are seriously considering legalizing casinos so Japanese can roll the dice without having to travel to gambling houses in the United States, East and Southeast Asia.

Backed by the Liberal Democratic Party-New Komeito ruling bloc and smaller forces, including Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), casino advocates believe that allowing legalized gambling to flourish will generate jobs, boost tourism and provide badly needed revenue in a country burdened with massive public debt and trillions of yen in rebuilding costs for the Tohoku region.

Opponents, however, warn that gambling will cause crime to surge and inflict other social ills upon the country.