Included in new legislation that will make its way to Japan‘s National Diet this month is a penalty of up to ¥500 million (US$4.7 million) that will reportedly be assessed to casino operators if it is discovered that they have acquired their business licenses via fraudulent means.
The Japan Times reports that the Minato-based Kyodo News agency obtained a copy of the bill, which the government will submit to the Diet on April 27.
The fine is reportedly part of the legislation that will enable casino gambling in Japan, where concern regarding the safety around the casinos being adversely affected and the possibility of the heightening of gambling addiction, remain.
Landmark legislation [“IR Promotion Act”] was passed in December 2016 making casinos legal in Japan for the first time. The Act allows for casinos to be established as part of integrated resort (IR) sites, which are mixed-use properties with casinos, hotels, conference and event facilities along with other attractions, pending the enactment of legislation, IR Implementation Bill, establishing regulatory framework for the casino market.
In an effort to address the concerns of the public, the bill reportedly stipulates that the government is charged with the “prevention of harmful effects associated with the use of casinos,” and will provide a government-managed license system from which the casinos will be operated.
A company looking to secure a license will need to submit a business plan, along with a copy of rules aimed at speaking to gambling addiction. The plan will additionally be required to certify that no member of management has ties to gangsters. Once satisfied, the license will be valid for a period of three years and upon expiry, the operator will be subject to the same scrutiny to renew it.
Penalties for an operator obtaining a license via fraudulent means, such as submitting untruthful business plans, are applicable to the company’s officials as well, and include a fine of up to ¥5 million (US$46,535.00) or up to a five-year prison sentence, according to the bill.
The anti-addiction measure would also reportedly allow Japanese residents no more than 10 visits to the casinos in any 28 day period and only 3 visits during any 7 day period, with casino workers being subject to a fine of ¥3 million (US$28,000) or up to three years in prison if they are found to have allowed patrons to exceed those limits, according to the document as reported by The Japan Times.
Residents will reportedly pay an entrance fee of ¥6,000 (US$56) while foreign visitors will reportedly enter free of charge.