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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class: News and Current Events in Japan, Season 1 - Lesson 6, The Casino Bill.
The National Assembly of Japan is currently considering a bill, often called “the Casino Bill,” which would liberalize gambling. In this lesson, we'll learn about this news story.

Lesson focus

In Japan, gambling is prohibited under the Penal Code.
In other words, gambling is a crime.
Thus, gambling by athletes at the Rio Olympics, in professional baseball, by sumo wrestlers, and by others has caused multiple scandals in Japan.
Of course, Japan has horse racing and a lottery as well as a sports promotion lottery (Toto).
However, because these activities are conducted under the supervision of government agencies and because part of the income is collected as tax revenue for the national government and local governments, they are treated as exceptions.
Pachinko also represents a gray area, however it has not been interpreted as a violation of the law.
However, as a measure to revitalize the economy and to secure new tax revenues, there have been moves towards establishing the “Integrated Resort (IR) Development Promotion Bill” (commonly known as the “Casino Bill”) in order to encourage the development of “Integrated Resort (IR) Facilities,” with a focus on casinos.
This bill has been submitted several times in the past but has been scrapped and remains subject to ongoing deliberations.
This bill has resurfaced in part because the bipartisan Alliance for the Promotion of International Tourism (the IR caucus) hopes to pass this bill in time for the Tokyo Olympics. Furthermore, the ruling Komeito Party, which has been reluctant in the past, is now showing a more flexible attitude towards considering the establishment of this law in the current National Assembly.
That being said, there remains significant opposition among the Japanese people to the Casino Bill, as no specific, convincing measures have been presented for addressing concerns of family disintegration due to gambling addiction, decreased security, the influx of criminal proceeds, etc.
Careful consideration is needed on how to manage these disadvantages and prevent a negative impact on the government approval rating.


Those are the key facts about the The Casino Bill.
If you want to find the related Japanese keywords, make sure to check out the lesson notes.
Okay, that’s all for this lesson. Thank you for listening everyone, and keep listening for more of the most talked about news stories in Japan!