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Japan’s gambling addiction bill falls short

Japan’s Ordinary Diet Session is set to close at the end of this month with no significant legislative progress on preparing for IRs after the ruling party and the opposition failed to agree on the terms of the planned Gambling Addiction Bill.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) had broadly agreed on the need to pass legislation combating problem gambling this Diet session, but talks have reportedly broken down, leaving insufficient parliamentary time for passage of the bill.

 The LDP and its coalition partner Komeito may still submit draft legislation on their own in the coming week with the understanding that its actual passage will have to wait.

Noriko Tanaka, President of The Society Concerned About Gambling Addiction, explains to AGB that the sticking points are many, but fundamentally that the ruling party draft is “inadequate.”

The opposition parties, she says, are demanding more serious measures, such as a unified authority at the ministry level, the establishment of stakeholder meetings, and a requirement that the gaming industry itself be made responsible for financial compensation to address problem gambling. Apparently, none of these things are provided for in the LDP draft.

The failure of this legislation to pass this month will push it back until the autumn or winter when the Extraordinary Diet Session is expected to be held. However, that session is also supposed to deal with the IR Implementation Bill, making for a crowded agenda of gaming-related issues.

Asia Gaming Brief is a news and intelligence service providing up to date market information for worldwide executives on relevant gaming issues in Asia.

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