Nine Casino Games Will Be Offered at Japan’s Future Casinos

The Japanese Casino Regulatory Commission, the agency tasked with drafting the nation’s casino regulations, has outlined nine popular games that will be permitted to be offered inside Japan’s first Las Vegas/Macau-style gambling venues.

Locally popular games such as pachinko, pachislot, and mahjong notably did not make it into the list.

This does not come as too big of a surprise as Japanese lawmakers have repeatedly pointed out over the years that nationals should not be the primary target group of the nation’s future casinos and that efforts should be focused on attracting foreign players.

The Casino Regulatory Commission unveiled the nine casino games that will be available on casino floors this past Friday. These include as many as 21 variants of gambling activities that are currently being banned in the nation.

The games that Japanese nationals and guests of the country will be able to play when its casino resorts open doors will be two variants of baccarat, four types of blackjack, eight types of poker, Sic Bo, craps, Casino War, money wheel and pai gow. The future gambling venues will also be allowed to feature slot machines.

The Casino Regulatory Commission will accept public feedback on the recently published draft regulations including the nine proposed games until May 9. The final casino regulations will be decided on after the above deadline for public comments expires.

A duo of bills, the IR Promotion Bill and the IR Implementation Bill, legalized casino gambling in Japan a few years ago. Casinos can only be hosted within larger multi-purpose complexes that are known as integrated resorts. Under the two measures, Japan’s central government will issue up to three licenses for properties of this kind.

Responsible Gambling Measures

The Commission’s draft regulations also propose several important measures for the socially responsible provision of casino-style games in the country. One such measure calls for prior background checks to be carried out on all major stakeholders and executives at the casino and integrated resorts operators. This is hoped to ensure “social credibility.”

The checks will include detailed investigations into all involved parties’ criminal and financial records. They will also be probed for potential links to organized crime.

As per the recent draft regulations, casino operators will be required to ban patrons who show signs of problem gambling to the gaming floor for at least one year and after that limit the number of visits to the casino they will be allowed each month. Casino companies will also be expected to set up a consultation desk for any player who wants to discuss gambling addiction.

Under other proposed regulations, casinos will have to display the current time to all customers on the gaming floor. ATMs will be forbidden in the casino.

The regulations basically ban comps and incentive programs that gambling venues usually use to attract clientele and reward those who pay frequent visits to the gaming floor. The recently unveiled draft does not provide any specific details, but says that “nothing that could potentially arouse the passion for gambling may be included.”

Source: Japan’s draft casino regulations list nine games to be permitted, Inside Asian Gaming, April 5, 2021

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