Friday, April 28, 2006

Japan Casinos

(Legal ones, that is.)

Bluejay links on his blog to this article (in Japanese) about the governmental task force that was set up to examine allowing legal casinos to open in Japan.

On the 27th, they released an interim findings report. It sounds like it says what everyone expected - that casinos could bring in significant tourist and tax revenues, creation of new jobs, and restoration of sightseeing in some areas. It recommends strict regulation and supervision.

It sounds like casinos will need to have services that will benefit from the tourism, such as restaurants and hotels. But they have also proposed that ATM machines not be allowed on casino premises, or even in the immediate surroundings.

Bluejay sounds disappointed that the government is planning to treat its citizens like children and protect them from losing too much money at once. I don't think it would bother me too much, actually - as long as there is a casino to visit, I can manage to bring enough money with me. It'll be a hard provision to enforce, too, since convenience stores are on every corner in Japan and they all have ATMs nowadays.

More than ATMs, I would worry about the money lending services. There are a lot of companies here where you can go into an ATM-like booth and apply for an immediate cash loan. The rates are horrible, too -- 25% interest and up. There are a lot of these businesses here (Citigroup owns two, though just recently combined them) and they must be laking a lot of money. Usary laws must be different here.

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