02/28/2012 : MORE GAMBLING FOR JAPAN?
Politicians come together in a drive to widen gambling opportunities – but it may take a few years yet
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Japanese government is moving toward opening the country to casino gambling for the first time, allegedly driven by American gambling interests, the success of other Asian nations that have embraced casino gambling, and a search for new growth industries to end the long economic slump.
Whilst online gambling has not been specifically mentioned, it could be a long term possibility.
"In a rare sign of cooperation amid the country's fractious politics, a group of 150 lawmakers from the ruling party and five opposition parties have embraced legalization that could begin the process of legalizing gambling within two years," the respected business publication notes.
"Leaders of the group say they plan to submit the bill before the current parliamentary session is scheduled to end."
Takeshi Iwaya, a politician representing the Liberal Democratic Party, told the Journal:
"Neighboring areas are contemplating similar plans, so if we don't hurry, we may risk missing out on a big opportunity."
A very restricted range of betting is permitted in the Asian nation, covering various forms of racing and the popular game of pachinko.