Dealing with its own gambling dilemma, Japan may now be pushing stronger to introduce laws that will see casinos open doors on its territory. However, legislators remain aware that the adopting of recreational gaming may also have its pitfalls that need to be addressed in the bud.
Such is the case with the anti-gambling addiction bill that the Japanese Diet, the country’s parliament, voted on during the weekend. The bill cleared the lower chamber making it abundantly clear that whatever the future of gambling in the country, Japan is very much determined to withstand its values and traditions.
A Stamp of Approval
On Saturday, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Prime Minister’s Shinzo Abe’s ruling party, pushed ahead with the legislation, which has been on the cards as early as 2017. The recent move is part of the Integrated Resorts (IR) Implementation Bill, which the LDP is spearheading to allow casinos to operate on the territory of Japan.
While political parties in the country have been divided over the issue of gambling legalization,Komeito and the Japan Restoration Party, a partner to LDP and an opposition entity respectively, have been unanimous in their decision to support the bill, highlighting the importance of having meaningful laws, regardless of the legal status of the activity itself.
Anti-gambling Equals IR Bill?
The fact that the anti-gambling bill has been adopted has given many reasons to hope that what may follow next is the actual implementation of the debated IR Bill. There are reasons enough to believe that the preparation to tackle gambling issues is a clear precursor towars a future where gambling is taken more seriously.
One of the problems of having a legalized industry in the United States, for example, is the lack of a unifying body of regulators who can impose their will for the greater good across all states and their respective counties. This patchy legal framework makes it particularly difficult for any common action on gambling.
Meanwhile, back in Japan, Hiroshi Moriyama, LDP affairs policy chairman, has said that the government will now be focusing on moving the anti-gambling bill to the Hous of Councillors where it will await its final nod. All of this, Mr Moriyama expects to happen before the current session is out.
Japan’s Trackrecord with Gambling
Gambling in Japan is currently not regulated in any form. Online casinos are in fact not allowed on the territory of the country, let alone any physical venues. However, Japanese gamblers still manage to sneak out around regulations and play at established bookmakers.
Japan has not persecuted people for playing at online casinos nor does it have the intention to. However, the activity is not advertised openly nor are gamblers advised to share their experience openly. Of course, due to the lack of regulation it may be difficult for gamblers to clear the hurdles and deposit actual money into their accounts.
As the Diet debates gambling, gamers may discreetly continue to wager online while keeping a low profile and nevertheless abiding by the country’s laws.