Japan Considers Reversing Historical Gambling Ban

Outside of various exceptions, including lottery, horse racing, and certain motor sports, gambling in Japan is banned according to a Criminal Code enacted in 1882.
The idea behind the ban was to help nurture a work ethic, while protecting “a healthy sense of economy among the people,” but now the Japanese government are considering the possibility of reversing their historical law to allow online and land based casinos to operate within the country.
Despite the current ban, Japan with its huge population of 128 million people, exhibits a strong demand for online gambling, as well as land based casinos, with 47% of the 1.68 million people that visit nearby Korea’s casinos every
year from Japan.
In addition, it is estimated that up to 2,100 illegal casinos in Japan generate around 1 trillion yen every year in the country, but now the government has signalled it may now reverse the gambling ban to help boost revenues, as well as their ailing tourist industry.
Currently, 73 cross party lawmakers in Japan are mulling submitting a bill to parliament to allow casinos in Japan. This would of course be good news to casino operators who will then have the potential to tap into the lucrative market, which has a higher gross domestic product than even the USA.
However, serious concerns still exist amongst anti-gambling groups who highlight the risks of addiction and underage gambling. One concerned citizen and blogger even wrote:
“Everyone will stop working hard. Is there any country that has prospered because of gambling?”
Despite the Japanese government trying to allay worries by stating that any future gambling industry would be tightly controlled and monitored, it would appear that the debate has a while to go before any firm decisions are reached on the issue.

Other news:   New York online poker bill introduced

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