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Japanese Authorities to Tackle Gambling Addiction by Setting Stricter Online Race Betting Limits.

by Glenn Baird - September 9, 2017

The Japanese government have set out new guidelines for online race betting in an attempt to curb worries over rising levels of gambling addiction within the country.

The new betting limits, devised by the government to protect problem gamblers when betting online on live races will be implemented in Japan by 2022.

These concerns co-inside with the country’s decision to legalise casino gambling after new laws were passed in December 2016 allowing a 15 year spell without casinos to come to an end. With regulation, tax and details surrounding social responsibility still to be thrashed out, it is unlikely that casino gambling will begin in Japan before 2023.

The decision to legalise casino gambling in Japan did not come easily, with authorities spending the best part of 15 years in talks before the decision was finally made last year.

A statement from Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga helps to emphasise the fears that exist in Japan over problem gambling:

“We need to develop an environment where treatment such as training for specialized treatment and consultation can be received when necessary.”

The sentiment was reiterated by Satoshi Sakamoto, the new head of Konami Holdings Corp, a Japanese entertainment company who will be investing heavily in casinos once the legislation is passed:

“If we are going to have casinos in Japan, we will establish the best regulations in the world, along with the personnel and systems to enforce them. It’s important that we create facilities where guests have a safe and pleasant experience.”

The need to pacify fears within Japanese society is huge as only 12% of the population were in favour of legalising casino gambling back in 2016, whilst 44% of the population were openly opposed to it.

Whilst the precise details of the limits being placed on online race betting have yet to be finalised, it is clear that Japanese authorities are responding to public concerns over the fear of problem gambling.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said following a meeting with ministers this week that, “It is essential to carry out measures to prevent people from falling into unfortunate situations due to (gambling) addiction.”

Along with these measures there are also plans in Japan to remove ATM machines from racing venues, with two cash machines already been taken out of cycle racing course.

There will also be a survey of gambling addiction completed by the government by the end of this week and by October this year a support centre will be set up, providing free care and advice for problem gamblers across Japan. Along with this there are also plans to create treatment centres across the country.

Given its lengthy process and the resistance to the legalisation of land based casino gambling it is unthinkable that there will any move towards the legalisation of online casino gambling any time in the near and distant future.