As Japan prepares to move forward with setting up its casino industry, the problem that has plagued gambling opponents from the start continues to crop up – problem gambling. Gambling addiction is a huge concern in Japan even before the first Integrated Resort (IR) casino is developed. The first casino license hasn’t been issued yet and analysts believe that Japan’s first IR casino will only be ready to open its doors to the public in the mid-2020s.
Compared with other countries, Japan is believed to have a high number of gambling addicts and they are looking to learn from other Asian countries who have been able to realize the economic benefits of casino gambling while, at the same time, they are taking steps to control gambling addiction.
Macau boasts the largest casino market on the planet and Japan could learn a thing or two about how to combat problem gambling from the Chinese territory’s gaming industry. If you were to enter the Galaxy Entertainment Group’s casino, you will notice a prominent display that features the “RG” logo. Those initials stand for Responsible Gaming which is a part of Macau’s strategy to deal with problem gamblers. The display shows a phone number that those with gambling problems can call to get expert help.
Innovative Strategies To Combat Problem Gambling
In 2016, Melco Resorts and Entertainment implemented a sophisticated facial recognition system that identifies those who have a history of gambling problems. Those people are denied entry into the casino. The casino also employs people who are tasked with rooting out individuals who are showing signs of gambling addiction. If a customer appears to be overexcited then the employee reminds them to relax a bit.
Ako Shiraogawa is the head of Melco Resorts and Entertainment’s Japanese division and he says that the company is working on a biometric ID system that he plans to have in place when Japan’s casino opens its doors.
There are about 40 casinos operating in Macau where gambling was legalized in the mid-1800s. Gambling addiction became an issue in the early 2000’s which led authorities to implement a policy in which casinos would bar people if that person’s family or friends asked for it. This policy was a huge factor in seeing the number of gambling addicts in Macau fall to 2.5% in 2016 from 4.3% in 2003.
Cover Charges and Limits
Singapore has a unique way of combating problem gambling among its citizens. Residents have to pay 100 Singapore dollars for every day that they wish to enter a casino. There is also a fee of SG$2,000 that must be paid annually to get into casinos. These fees do not apply to non-citizens.
The state of Victoria in Australia urges casino goers to set betting and time limits for themselves. This can be done either online or upon entering the casino. Customers are notified once they reach the 70%, 90%, and 100% mark of their limit.
The Kangwon Land in South Korea boasts an addiction center that will go so far as covering some of the hospital costs for those who want help. The center will also provide training and even jobs to people before they are discharged from treatment.
Japan Limiting Casino Visits
On top of Japanese citizens needing to pay a little over USD$50 to enter a casino, Japan is introducing a new rule that will limit people to 3 casino visits per week and 10 per month. Just like Vietnam, Japan also plans to have regulations in place where concerned family members can write to the concerned casino(s) and ask them to prohibit their family members or loved ones from visiting their premises as they have issues with gambling addiction.
Japanese legislators and groups overseeing the development of the IR casino industry have been rather slow in their progress and one of the main reasons for this is because they want to make sure they complete detailed research of other Asian markets and get the best solutions available into preventing and restricting problem gambling concerns in Japan.
No matter what regulations Japan puts in place, the real test will be when the IR casino resort is up and running. The gaming regulator will then have to allow atleast 6 months of operation before measuring the impact of problem gambling and the effectiveness of the responsible gaming measures that have been put in place.

TightPoker Staff

TightPoker Staff

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