Online gambling not part of Japan’s new casino laws 

by Mia Chapman Last Updated
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 reports 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.”

Wakayama throws its hat into Japanese casino ring

A Japanese prefecture is considering lodging an integrated resort bid, but said it must focus on wellness and nature.

Casino.org reported in January that Wakayama lawmakers want their integrated resort to embody a healing apparatus.

In explaining the specifics of its integrated resort and what features interested bidders would be smart to include, Wakayama officials want the development to incorporate natural elements of the city.

Wakayama’s integrated resort implementation policy urges casino consortiums to prepare bids to implement the waterfront, hot springs and local culture into the resort plans.

“Nature-based activity tourism is a leading trend in tourism globally,” Wakayama’s Fundamental Concept of integrated resort policy declares.

“Wakayama has great potential as a tourist destination with its wide variety of recreation, blessed with a long coastline, deep mountains and many rivers, almost every kind of experience-type tourism is possible,” the request-for-proposal explains.

Wakayama is a small prefecture and city and its population has been declining for a quarter of a century.

Since 2010, Wakayama has been the only prefecture in the Kansai region with fewer than one million residents.

While global casino operators interested in building in Japan prefer investing in major cities such as Tokyo, Yokohama or Osaka, Japan lawmakers legalised commercial gambling in an effort to spur economic growth in struggling cities.

Wakayama certainly meets that criteria.

Wakayama leaders say they’re in the casino bidding process for three primary reasons” job creation, economic development and tourism promotion.

City officials have offered up an approximately 50-acre plot of land in the Wakayama Marina City.

The location is roughly a 60-minute train or car ride from Osaka.

The resort will not be a casino-first destination.

Back to top