Japan is making progress toward introducing the first steps of its newly approved integrated resort (IR) industry. While it has yet to launch the official bidding process to select destination cities and casino partners, it is putting in place the underlying framework that will govern the activity. In its latest move, it has announced the policies for how the gambling operations will be allowed to advertise in the country, and the approach is strict.
All advertisements for casino activity will only be allowed in the international terminals of the country’s airports and seaports. The official rule will be added to a government ordinance that is expected to be drafted this March. The restriction to prohibit advertisements from public view and relegate them to only the terminals is designed to help prevent gambling addiction.
Advertisements are authorized in areas such as immigration and customs of the international terminals. Other locations where advertising is often found, such as railways, buses and tourist information centers, are strictly off-limits to gambling ads.
Japan passed its IR Promotion Act during an extended session last July. Since then the IR Promotion Council has worked diligently to create a framework that would help control the activity and prevent problem gambling.
The position is similar to that seen in countries around that world. More and more, gambling advertising is being restricted in an attempt to curb addiction. Italy has taken a stance that is more strict than most, putting an end to all gambling ads and sponsorships by the end of this June. Last year, the UK became one of the first countries to control the space, implementing a number of new restrictions.
The IR industry in Japan has already proven to be a contentious subject, even though operations haven’t even gotten off the ground. While some gambling opponents try to argue against any action that opens the industry, there have been a number of studies that show that prohibiting gambling does more harm than legalizing it. Japan is a relatively conservative country but has always been at the front of innovation. As the IR industry begins to expand in the country, it will undoubtedly bring with it a whole new level of gaming that will make other popular gambling destinations envious.