Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare have indicated that gambling addictions will be covered by public health insurance from April of this year.
According to a report by the Asahi Shimbun, it is envisioned that this will be group therapy where addicts discuss their experiences together.
The government’s Addiction Strategy Promotion Basic Plan including Gambling considered whether health insurance should cover problem gambling this fiscal year and makes provision to establish treatment facilities in all prefectures and designated cities starting next fiscal year.
However, there has been criticism that public health insurance is covered by public expenses and insurance premiums and problem gambling should be handled by the individual.
The development of IRs is in the background of these efforts to tackle the issue. The Casino Administration Committee that will regulate and supervise IR operators was launched on 7 January as an external department of the Cabinet Office.
Decisions on licenses will be made upon confirming there are enough measures to tackle problem gambling and money laundering.