The opening of Japan’s first integrated resort could lead to declines in the nation’s problem gambling numbers, according to a senior executive from Caesars’ Entertainment.
In an interview with the Asahi Shimbun, Jan Jones Blackhurst, Executive Vice President, Public Policy & Corporate Responsibility, stated that one of the biggest issued facing Japan’s gambling industries at present, particularly pachinko and pachislot, was the lack of any gambling addiction prevention or treatment programs.
But she added that the presence of IRs could improve the situation.
“There is a possibility that fewer people [would] suffer as a result of the introduction of effective prevention and treatment programs,” Blackhurst said.
“Overseas, there is a scheme where, forcibly, part of the casino’s earnings are used for prevention and treatment of gambling addiction. In Japan there is no kind of scheme like this and there is no wide-ranging treatment service for addiction patients.”
Blackhurst also noted that the number of electronic gaming machines potentially joining Japan’s market as part of any new IR development was tiny compared with the current pachinko market.
“There are approximately 4.4 million units of pachinko/pachislot [in Japan],” she said. “In the future, even if we construct three large IRs, there would be around 12,000 machines such as slots installed.”
Blackhurst also noted that any Caesars-built IR would primarily target tourists, as opposed to pachinko parlors where “many of the customers are locals.”
“IRs that we aim to open in Japan will be primarily intended for people from abroad for travel, business,” she said. “And the floor area of casino is only a small part of the IR. We offer not only gambling but also a range of entertainment.”