Japan lists nine casino games for future casinos

by Charlotte Lee Last Updated
Japan lists nine casino games for future casinos

Nine casino games have been permitted to operate inside Japan’s three future casinos.

Inside Asian Gaming reports that Japan’s Casino Regulatory Commission has approved nine games, with traditional Japanese favourites such as pachinko, pachislot and mahjong notable exclusions.

The nine games within the draft regulations, published last Friday, include 21 variants of games currently banned in Japan, but set to be legalised as part of the government’s integrated resort plans.

The nine games are two types of baccarat, four types of blackjack, eight types of poker, Sic Bo, craps, Casino War, money wheel and pai gow, plus electronic games.

Public feedback on the draft regulations will be accepted until May 9, after which time final casino regulations will be decided.

The regulations also call for prior background checks on all major stakeholders and executives of casino and integrated resort operators to ensure “social credibility”.

This will include detailed investigations into criminal and financial records, as well as whether there are any links to organised crime.

As a measure against problem gambling, casino operators will be expected to ban users suspected of addiction for at least one year and later limit the number of casino visits they are allowed to make each month.

Operators will be required to establish a consultation desk for anyone wanting to discuss gambling addiction.

It is also stipulated that the current time must be on display to all guests on the casino floor, while ATMs will be forbidden.

In relation to casino comps and incentive programs, the draft states, “Nothing that could potentially arouse the passion for gambling may be included,” although there are no specific details provided.

Online gambling not part of Japan’s new casino laws 

A Japanese government official has denied suggestions that the country’s recent casino liberalisation legislation could mean online gambling will soon be legalised.

European Gaming reported in March that chairperson of the Liberal Democratic Party’s National Safety Commission Hachiro Okonogi said instead, the country will be cracking down harder on any such illegal activity.

The question of online gambling was raised by the Constitutional Democratic Party, who asked if there had been any change to the regulation of online gambling in Japan, given an increase in the use of offshore gaming sites since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

In response, Okonogi said, “There are provisions on casino acts in the existing IR Development Act, but it does not include online casinos and they are not subject to this regulation.

However, when I was asked at the Cabinet Committee last week, I answered that we would continue to take strict action as the police and chairperson of the National Public Safety Commission.”

Asked if further regulation was necessary, Okongi added: “The reason online casinos are not subject to the ‘casino acts’ in the IR Development Act is because online casinos are illegal in the first place.

“There is precedent of online casinos being run in Japan, busted and tried in court.”

Okonogi emphasised that crackdowns would continue and explained, “continuing to come down on online casinos is the role of the police and Chairperson of the National Public Safety Commission. The fact is that this does not fall under the jurisdiction of the IR Development Act or the minister in charge of the Casino Management Committee.”

Back to top