The Government has taken steps to help problem gamblers who will be covered by public health insurance from April.
Japan.- Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has revealed that public health insurance will soon cover gambling addiction. The measure will come in to force from April and will cover treatments such as group therapy.
The Ministry said the action forms part of the government’s Addiction Strategy Promotion Basic Plan. It also makes provisions for establishing treatment facilities in all prefectures and designated cities starting in the next fiscal year.
According to local press, there has been fierce debate around the decision with some saying that it is a personal problem and not the responsibility of the Government to tackle.
But with the country’s IR plan now underway, others believe the Government should take steps to prevent problem gambling. The Casino Administration Committee that will regulate and supervise IR operators was launched on 7 January as an external department of the Cabinet Office.
The first licenses will be issued when the Committee is satisfied there are sufficient measures in place to tackle problem gambling and money laundering.