Japan moves towards casino gambling
A group of lawmakers are attempting introduce traditional casino gambling in Japan this autumn, according to the news agency Reuters. Gambling, as it is specifically defined is not generally legal in Japan, a nation whose economy is behind only the USA and China in the entire world.
Both these economic powerhouses have hugely profitable commercial casino industries with the US worth $37 billion annually, and China, through the special administrative region of Macau, raking in a similar amount. Other Asia-Pacific countries are also looking to expand their gambling industries, with The Philippines and Singapore amongst the front runners.
Although not adhering to the conventional Vegas-style format of gaming, Japan does actually already possess a significant casino industry, said to be worth around $10 billion. Most gambling takes place through the game of Pachinko, a popular pinball-like slot machine that awards prizes.
Although under consideration, there is no guarantee that the new proposals will be taken up and opponents have cited the rise in gambling addiction and other social issues as reasons against the plans.
Las Vegas Sands and Genting Group, two of the largest casino companies in the world, have already expressed interest, should the new laws come to pass in Japan.