Japan ruling bloc looks to set casino-visit limits to address gambling addiction

Kyodo

The government plans to introduce a system to prohibit individuals from entering casinos or limiting their visits in an integrated resort bill to be submitted to the Diet to address problem gambling, government and ruling bloc sources said Wednesday.

Japanese and foreign nationals residing in Japan or their family members can apply to bar them from casinos or limit the number of visits per month. Operators of casinos will be obliged to monitor their visits and block them ifnecessary.

The coalition government led by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party aims to attract more foreign visitors. With its partner, Komeito, remaining cautious about allowing casinos, the government has been discussing measures to address problem gambling.

While accepting applications for casino exclusions on behalf of people with pathological gambling habits or their family members, it will also set residents’ maximum number of visits at 10 times per 28 consecutive days. A voluntary visit limit can also be applied.

Entrance restrictions and visit limits can be lifted if applicants submit a document showing they have undergone counseling and are considered capable of gambling without the risk of addiction.

Similar measures are already in place at venues of publicly run gambling events such as horse racing tracks.

According to a government’ survey, about 3.2 million Japanese adults are suspected to have a gambling addiction.