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Race betting to see restrictions on ATMs, online betting


The Japanese government is looking at ways to curb problem gambling by limiting online race betting, removing ATMs from some racing venues, and reducing the jackpot rewards for pachinko, local media reports. 

During a Tuesday ministerial meeting, concerned Cabinet Ministers also agreed to develop a system to restrict casino access to individuals suffering from problem gambling following requests from their families. There are also measures to discourage people from indulging in pachinko gaming - by limited reducing the rewards for hitting jackpot. Pachinko slot machines are said to be affected by these new measures as well. 

“It is essential to carry out measures to prevent people from falling into unfortunate situations due to (gambling) addiction,” said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga at the meeting.

At the same time, organizers of racing events are looking to remove ATM machines from venues. Two of the three bicycle racing venues in Japan had already done so earlier this month.

According to to Cabinet Office, boat racing venues currently have the most ATM machines onsite amongst the four bettable sports, which include horse, powerboat, bicycle and motorcycle racing.

A new support center for those suffering from gambling addiction will start a free advice line starting October,  while the government is also planning to establish specialized medical institutes and designated treatment facilities throughout the country.

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