Japan far from regulating online casinos, says industry expert
Industry expert and general manager of gaming firm Bay City Ventures Joji Kokuryo has said that Japan will not be having online casinos anytime soon as the government is not even considering it. He made this comment at a panel discussion held during the ASEAN Gaming Summit in Manila.
Speaking on the possibilities for the Japanese gaming market, Kokuryo mentioned that key Japanese authorities such as the Police Agency and Consumer Affairs Agency have expressed their displeasure towards online gambling while openly declaring it as “illegal”. He added that even Prime Minister Kishida stated that “online casinos are indeed against the law”.
Seeing as the government does not recognize online gambling as a viable gaming vertical, there has been a proliferation of unregulated online casinos which the government is finding all means to squash. Concerning that, Kokuryo observed: there are some short-term options with varying levels of effects such as geoblocking popular sites or clamping down on money transfer services that could help to mitigate the number of users. However, it is still up for debate what long-term actions will be implemented and to what extent will unregulated online site users be charged with the current maximum fine of JPY500,000 ($3,825) for first-time offenders”.
Meanwhile, Japan‘s plans to build two mega integrated resorts in the Osaka and Nagasaki prefectures is still in the works with no new information coming out about it since last year. While the central government is taking its time to consider the IR plans and whether to approve them, Kokuryo noted that there is a tendency for “non-IR related issues” to crop up the longer the wait.
Kokuryo went on to discuss about other issues that may affect or have somewhat of an impact on Japan’s gambling industry. He named the collapse of Credit Suisse bank, preparation of Yumeshima site for World Expo in 2025 and technology trends that may turn the tides of gaming in the country.