Casino opponents hold symposium in Osaka

While the Osaka government remains the most proactive local administration in seeking an IR, it remains the case that a large majority of the general public there opposes the establishment of casinos in the local area.

A reminder of this fact came on Wednesday when casino opponents held an event called “Preventing the Establishment of the IR Implementation Act,” which was organized by the Osaka Bar Association.

In his presentation, lawyer Tetsuya Yoshida noted that about 5 million people in Japan are suspected of some level of gambling addiction, and he told the audience, “Addiction is a social problem that should be considered separately from casinos. It is wrong to legalize casinos in order to take credit for instituting anti-addiction policies.”

Another lawyer, Toshinobu Takahashi, reviewed the central government’s Experts’ Committee report and found it to be wanting: “From the outset the orientation of the committee was determined. Their investigation of the negative effects of casinos was insufficient.”

Other speakers cast doubt on the ability of regulators to ensure that yakuza and money laundering would indeed be completely excluded from the casinos.

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