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Japan to ban junket agents from casinos

  • June 22, 2017
  • , Mainichi , p. 2
  • JMH Translation

The Japanese government on June 21 decided to totally prohibit junket agents, middlemen who are partially entrusted with casino operations and provide wealthy clients with various services, at the country’s planned integrated resorts (IR) featuring casinos. It will only allow licensed casino operators to exchange money with clients and will ban casino operations from being outsourced. The plan is aimed at preventing money laundering by crime syndicates and other antisocial forces and will be included in the IR bill to be submitted to the extraordinary Diet session this autumn.

 

In Macau and other foreign countries, middlemen can obtain government licenses to conduct casino business in addition to casino operators. They lease sections of casinos as “VIP rooms” and provide rich clients with casino services. They also borrow wagers from casino operators on behalf of clients to earn commissions.

 

But such intermediary business is a source of concern because it could lead to a lack of transparency in the flow of money and gambling addiction, prompting the Japanese government to completely ban junket agents. A government source says, “Prominent casino operators have the ability to manage clients on their own and don’t need junket agents.”

 

Furthermore, the government will limit the number of casino visits and charge entrance fees to prevent customers from becoming addicted to gambling. It will also consider restricting Japanese residents’ entry to casinos based on their “My Number” ID cards issued for social security and tax purposes. Minors and those affiliated with crime syndicates will not be allowed to enter at all. Advertisements for casinos will be prohibited in principle outside of IR areas.

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