The Japanese government and the ruling parties are planning to propose a system that would allow pachinko parlours and other gaming facilities to ban “serious” gaming addicts. Under the plan, only those who wish to overcome their problem, or their families, would notify nearby gaming facilities to ask that access be restricted.
The problem of gaming addiction has drawn attention since Japan legalised casinos last year. The government believes building resorts with casinos and hotels will lure more tourists and lift the nation’s stagnating regional economies.
The government opened the door to casinos by enacting a law that legalised the use of so-called integrated resorts, which took effect in December. The government is now in the process of crafting a bill to dictate how the casinos should operate and hope to submit it to the extraordinary Diet session expected to be convened this fall.
Under the measure, if the gaming facility operator recognises the person’s addiction, it could ban entry, or ask the person to leave. And if the addiction was determined to be less serious, an operator could limit the number of visits allowed to the facility. Addition level could also be judged through medical certification, the sources said Saturday.
The government and ruling parties want to have the outline of the system drafted by this summer, but the operators might oppose the move because it would hurt their take.
De facto gaming has been permitted at slot-machine and pachinko parlours for decades. Betting on publicly run horse, bicycle and powerboat races is also allowed.
Pachinko parlours would most likely express strong opposition because they are privately run. A person must be at least 18 to enter a pachinko parlour.