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Japan Officially Opens Its Doors to the Casino Industry

Official: Japan Opens Its Doors to the Casino Industry

In a legal move that could redefine Japan’s economic stance, the nation has officially passed a bill approving the establishment of casinos.

Following up on the recent shifts in casino legislation earlier this month, Japan has officially confirmed the legalization of casino gambling. This executive decision as an attempt to revitalize tourism in Japan and, ultimately, boost its maturing economy.

, the Japanese government views this as a massive opportunity to stimulate growth as they have estimated that a Japanese casino industry could reel staggering amounts of money in the form of both direct and indirect revenues that would result from the recent legislative shift.

It is without a doubt that there is both local and tourist demand for gambling, considering the Japanese love for Pachinko and horse race betting, which make this an exciting opportunity for foreign investment as well as local businesses. Yet despite this huge amount of estimated future wealth these changes would stimulate, the Japanese public still strongly oppose the idea of legalizing casinos.

"Local opposition is so strong that only 12% of the population support the bill despite promises up to $30 billion in increased economic revenue."

While other forms of gambling are socially accepted as part of Japanese history and heritage, the modern concept of casinos is considered immoral by many and by some as even an elaborate scam. In fact, local opposition is so strong that only 12% of the population support the bill despite promises up to $30 billion in increased economic revenue per an opinion poll by Japanese broadcaster NHK.

The predominant concerns of those who are against this progressive decision is the exploitation of addicts. To combat this, preliminary laws were already passed to ensure that the regulatory structure was already in place to protect citizens from being taken advantage of.

While the public opinion seems predominantly negative, there are niches of Japanese society that are highly in favor of the decision. One unique example is a that was set up in a nursing home to help its elderly residents engage socially, stay sharp and even combat dementia.

"We believe this casino stimulates the brain and helps to prevent or suppress the development of dementia." - Kaoru Mori, Chairman of Japan Elderly Care Service

In spite of the risks related to gambling, while they are seriously worth considering they do not eclipse the potential social and economic benefits that casino legalization could bring to Japanese citizens.

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