Poker could be excluded from Japan IRs

Poker offerings may be banned at upcoming Japanese integrated resorts, according to local press.

Japan.- Authorities have revealed several conditions of the IR Implementation Bill, which would regulate the upcoming casino sector in Japan. As the government legalised gaming industry last year, legislators keep debating further proposals to limit casino expansion and reduce problem gambling.

According to The Mainichi newspaper, poker and sports betting sectors could be banned in new Japanese integrated resorts. Casino regulation would only allow gaming options that “businesses can manage in a fair manner, can only be played within IRs and those in which participants can win or lose only by chance,” as the article describes.

The panel of experts explained that both sports betting and poker offerings could be difficult to control by authorities and, therefore, could lead to criminal offenses. In response, Masayoshi Oiwane, head of the Japan Casino School told Mainichi newspaper: “Poker allows gamblers to feel a sense of superiority by defeating others in a game of wits. Poker is popular worldwide and can attract numerous customers. In such games, it’s clear who the winner or loser is and it’s easy to control the flow of money.”

As regulators move forward with casino implementation bill, the ruling Komeito party is having internal discussions about gaming development. Although casino legislation was approved last year, the party is facing strong opposition by internal supporters such as its principal backer, Soka Gakkai, the Buddhist religious group.

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