Japan’s casinos considering ‘carding’ problem gamblers

by Noah Taylor Last Updated
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As part of recently passed casino legislation in Japan, ruling parties are considering several safeguards against gambling addiction. One of these is a proposal to limit access for those at risk based on their national ID cards.

A 2013 Health Ministry survey estimated that 5.36 million people nationwide were addicted to gambling or at risk. The safeguards and other related bills will be submitted to the Diet late next year.

The legislation, which created the framework for legalising casinos, was first reported by www.australiangambling.lv last Thursday. All proposals for prospective casino resorts must have strong measures in place to combat gambling addiction.

One measure could be a plan that would restrict entry of suspected gambling addicts based on their “My Number” IDs, issued for social security and tax purposes. For those diagnosed with an addiction or identified as at risk, casinos would limit the frequency of their visits or even deny entry.

The measure has been used in Singapore, where suspected addicts can be barred from casinos when flagged by the individual or family member.

Another initiative that is used in Singapore is that residents are charged entrance fees while foreigners are not. Singapore’s rules and regulations will be used as a reference, according to a senior Liberal Democratic Party official.

A project team will be set up by junior coalition partner Komeito, within the month to address the issue, with an eye toward crafting a comprehensive plan that includes a public awareness campaign and rehabilitation centres.

Should the ID card system be used then the ruling parties will have to amend the law authorising the national IDs, considering such a use would fall outside the intended scope of the original legislation.

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