Osaka, one of two candidate locations bidding to win an integrated resort and casino license from the central government, has passed an ordinance draft to promote counter-addiction measures for gambling, with a majority vote at the prefectural assembly on Wednesday.
This is the first ordinance of its kind to tackle gambling addiction in Japan.
Ordinances for counter-addiction measures for gambling were submitted separately by Osaka Ishin and the LDP, but in the end it was Ishin’s bill that passed with majority vote including Ishin, Komei, LDP and JCP votes.
The ordinance calls for establishment of a Counter-addiction Promotion Department headed by the Osaka governor and includes enlightenment activities for addiction prevention. An ordinance to establish funding for the department was also passed.
Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura promised to establish the department before year ‘s end, stating, “We will maximize the benefits of IR while facing its problems head-on. We will take initiatives directly for addiction countermeasures.”
Osaka submitted its bid to develop an integrated resort to the central government in April, with a final decision expected by the end of the year. If successful, the IR would be developed by a consortium led by MGM Resorts and local firm Orix Corp at a cost of US$9 billion. It is currently anticipated to open in 2029.
Japan’s only other bid is for a smaller IR development in Nagasaki, led by Casinos Austria International.
A maximum of three licenses can be issued by the central government under Japan’s IR Promotion Act.