The battle to regulate casinos in Japan continues. The bill proposal was passed by the House of Councilors, which was a crucial step for the legislation. Now, the bill will proceed to the Diet’s Upper House where the vote could take place as early as tomorrow.
Difference of the Opinion
The Bill for the Promotion of Integrated Resort Facilities, better known simply as Casino Bill, has been in the works some time now. Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party has been working tirelessly on getting Diet members to see eye to eye regarding the proposal. Abe’s party is facing stiff opposition from the Democratic Party of Japan, whose members believe regulated casinos would bring more harm than good.
The LDP, on the other hand, firmly believes a casino regulation would create new jobs and would significantly boost the economy of Japan. Experts estimate the newly established industry could be worth in a vicinity of $40 billion.
Japan on the Verge of Having Regulated Casinos
Thanks to the fact they hold a necessary majority in the Diet the LDP stands a good chance of finally pushing through the legislation. That would mean Japan would have regulated gambling for the first time in decades. The confirmation by the House of Councilors is an important step in this process as it clears the way for the decisive vote in the Upper House.
Apart from the majority in the Diet, there are other reasons working in favor of Abe’s proposal. Although gambling is officially banned, things are much different in reality. Pachinko parlors are a very popular way of entertainment in the country. In these parlors, patrons can gamble for real money and laws are skirted by paying winnings off-site.
Since Japanese are already gambling, there is no real downside to creating a legal framework which would also boost the country’s budget. Legalized casinos would also increase the influx of tourists to the country, so there are numerous financial benefits connected to passing the bill.
Gambling Addiction Concerns
However, there are those in the country who believe that more than just financial factors should be taken into consideration. Many experts worry that legalizing casinos could lead to an increase in gambling addiction. While people do gamble in pachinko parlors even now, many more would be encouraged to try their luck if gambling is made legal.
The Casino Bill has been moving back and forth since December 2013. It is high time for the Diet to make the final decision. If things go as planned, Japan could have a casino law as early as tomorrow. This would allow for the next stage of the process to begin, namely planning and building casino resorts in the country.