Wakayama Prefecture launches harm mitigation public consultation

In Japan and the government for Wakayama Prefecture has reportedly launched a public consultation period regarding measures it is proposing to introduce in order to help prevent locals from developing a gambling problem.

According to a report from GGRAsia, the southern Honshu jurisdiction is hoping to take advantage of federal legislation passed in the summer of 2018 so as to be given the right to host one of the nation’s coming trio of integrated casino resorts. These Las Vegas-style venues are to purportedly come complete with a minimum $10 billion price tag and feature multiple hotels, exhibition facilities and retail elements alongside a casino.

Casino competition:

GGRAsia reported that Wakayama Prefecture envisions bringing its planned integrated casino resort to a 50.7-acre plot of privately-owned land on the Marina City artificial island and has already attracted interest from a number of potential operating partners including the likes of MGM Resorts International, Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited, Wynn Resorts Limited and Las Vegas Sands Corporation. But, the jurisdiction of some 950,000 people is said to be facing stiff competition for one of the three ten-year casino licenses from a number of other communities including the likes of Osaka and Yokohama.

Protracted process:

As part of the race to secure one of the coming licenses and Wakayama Prefecture reportedly released its draft implementation policy last month so as to officially lay out exactly what it would expect any partner casino operator to bring to the proposed project. It is now purportedly set to move on to the request for proposal (RFP) stage of the process but is first inviting public comment on a range of measures to thwart any associated rise in gambling addictions.

Damage deterrence:

These proposed harm mitigation initiatives are to be aimed at citizens of Japan and include a provision that would require the jurisdiction to provide education and consultation services to anyone suspected of having a gambling problem. It detailed that the draft policy released yesterday will be open for public comment until March 27 and also calls for the development of specific medical resources for those who may acquire an addiction.

These measures are to reportedly sit alongside a number of federal requirements, which include a $57 individual entry levy as well as a limit on the number of times local players may visit a casino, in helping the government to reduce instances of gambling addiction at the coming trio of developments.

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