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Government proposes voluntary measures on gambling addiction

The central government is proposing new measures to combat the gambling addiction associated with pachinko, horse racing, bicycle racing, etc., but its unwillingness to make any of the new measures legally obligatory is expected to draw criticism from health professionals and other stakeholders.

The government will ask public gambling venues such as horse racing tracks to check peoples’ photo identifications before allowing them to enter. Third party exclusion policies are also being recommended, so that family members can ask that their members who may be subject to problem gambling tendencies can be kept out of the venues, including pachinko parlors.

ATMs are to be removed from some gambling venues, and restrictions on advertising will be recommended.

But all of these measures, as noted, will not have the force of law, but only stand as government recommendations to the operators.

The Cabinet is expected to endorse these policies sometime next month.These non-obligatory measures are intended to fulfill the terms of he Basic Law on Gambling Addiction Countermeasures was passed on July 6 last year by the ruling coalition and some opposition parties, with the political intention of smoothing public concerns over the forced passage of the IR Implementation Act later that same month.

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