The government said Thursday it plans to ask horse race and pachinko parlor operators to consider using facial recognition systems to restrict admission of gambling addicts.

The adoption of facial recognition systems is part of a basic plan to combat gambling addiction that the government drafted to pave the way for opening casinos in the nation.

Facial recognition systems can help efficiently identify gambling addicts after restrictions on their entry into racetracks and pachinko parlors are requested by themselves or family members, officials said.

The government’s plan also includes the removal of automated teller machines from such gambling sites.

After seeking views from the public, the government aims to adopt the plan next month.

The plan will be reviewed every three years, and will also cover bicycle and speedboat racing.

The government said that admission restrictions on gambling addicts based on requests by family members will be introduced for pachinko parlors during fiscal 2019, which ends in March next year.

The draft plan calls for the introduction of a system in fiscal 2020 that enables gambling addicts to set a maximum limit on how much they will buy when purchasing horse and boat race betting tickets online.

The plan also presses for the gambling industry and its operators to develop advertisement guidelines so as not to fuel people’s desire to gamble.

Under the plan, the welfare ministry will set up consultation offices on gambling addiction in all prefectures and ordinance-designated major cities by around fiscal 2020.

In fiscal 2020, the ministry will conduct a survey on issues involving gambling addiction, including multiple debts, poverty, abuse, suicide and crime.

Before that, in fiscal 2019, the ministry will start looking into the effects of gambling addiction on child abuse.

The draft calls on the education ministry to strengthen school education on gambling addiction.

The National Police Agency will also instruct prefectural police departments to clamp down on illegal gambling.

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