The opposition party Nippon Ishin no Kai is proposing new legislation to deal with problem gamblers, hoping to speed up the debate after a bill legalizing casinos in Japan was rammed through the Diet in December.

The Osaka-centric party, which is close to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on many issues, hopes that cooperation with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's LDP on the issue will help ensure the city becomes one of those picked for a casino resort license, if not the first.

"The Nippon Ishin bill sets out a variety of measures to deal with problem gamblers to ensure that the problem is dealt with in a comprehensive manner," said Hitoshi Asada, the party's policy chief.