>> Japan's placing it's bets on a full scale casino industry. A controversial bill to legalize casino is hitting the parliament floor Wednesday and with prime minister Shinzō Abe's majority, it's essentially guaranteed to be enacted into law. It paves the way for the sort of Macau style resorts that lure in high roller tourists eager to play the tables.
Tourism is key to Prime Minister Shinzō Abe's economic plans ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but as Reuters Tom Wilson reports, there is concern over using gambling to do it.>> People are very worried that casinos coming to Japan are going to increase gambling related social problems such as gambling addiction, organized crimes such as money laundering, as well as causing problems in the neighborhood where the casinos are located.
Last week, there were only a few hours of debate in the parliament before the bill was forced through the Lower House. So some opponents are worried that there hasn't been sufficient debate about the casino bill>> Gambling legislation fail to gain traction for years. Official polling shows that around half of Japanese people oppose the latest bill and there's even concern within Abe's ruling coalition, partly because Japan has issues with the legal form of betting that already exists.
>> In Japanese towns and cities, pachinko pinball parlours are everywhere, but these are actually not regarded by the government as gambling per se, they are really grey area. People are most worried about casinos because they will introduce very high stakes gambling in the country.>> The bill won't immediately green light casino grand openings, next comes years of writing regulations, but casino bill supporters want to push legislation next year to kick start construction.