A law allowing casino gambling took effect Monday, prompting the government to promote the creation of "integrated resorts" that include hotels and other entertainment facilities.
The law, sponsored by a group of lawmakers mainly from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, created controversy due to public concern about the risk of gambling addiction.
Following the enactment, the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will formulate further legislation required to implement the casino system, seeing such resorts as having the potential to boost tourism.
The law urges the government to prepare legislation within one year to deal with problems connected with casino resorts, including gambling addiction and ways to prevent the involvement of organized crime groups.
While casinos may have been banned by law, de facto gambling has been permitted in the form of slot machine and pachinko parlors. Wagering on horse, bicycle and powerboat races has also been legal.