Gambling Addiction Bill Set to Pass House of Representatives

Diet debate on the Basic Bill on Gambling Addiction Countermeasures began on Wednesday in the lower house’s Cabinet Committee, and the legislation is expected to be passed by a plenary session of House of Representatives by the end of business on Friday, May 25. It will then be sent on to the upper house—the House of Councillors—for consideration in that chamber.

It is this same lower house Cabinet Committee which will take up deliberations on the IR Implementation Bill, presumably beginning next week.

In Thursday’s hearing, several expert witnesses were called, including Naoyuki Nishimura of the Resourceful Center of Problem Gambling and Noriko Tanaka of The Society Concerned About Gambling Addiction.

Tanaka was the more upbeat witness, commenting, “I think it’s a good mechanism to have some part of the revenue collected by the government from the casino operators and to distribute funds to social organizations and others. I’m particularly grateful that stakeholder meetings have been incorporated into the bill which will bring together the various parties, including families, into a joint discussion.”

Nishimura expressed more skepticism: “Although I honestly feel it is insufficient, I do realize that this is simply a basic bill. However, compared to what is offered in the ruling coalition’s bill, that of the opposition parties more strongly expresses the medical model.” (AGB Nippon)