Japan to let families apply for gambler exclusion

The Japanese authorities have announced measures to allow its citizens to apply to have family members barred from entering any of the country’s gambling facilities and from online betting. The move aims to curb problem gambling in the country, according to several media reports. It comes as Japan moves closer to having a regulated casino industry.

Japan’s public broadcaster NHK reported on Monday that Japanese officials had agreed “to call on public gambling providers to limit access of addicts [to their services] if members of their families make the request”.

The Japan Times reported also on Monday that the Japan Racing Association – an operator of horse racing betting – would start accepting on Thursday ban applications from family members of people “clinically diagnosed with gambling disorders or suspected of struggling with its symptoms”. The report said the ban would apply to online betting services.

The latest media reports mentioned government plans for all gambling operators in Japan to begin accepting – by April next year – requests from family members to have particular individuals barred from accessing gambling services. The Japan Times noted it was unclear how such measure would be implemented; the report added some operators already offered gambling self-exclusion programmes, but the enrolment figures were reportedly very low.

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