”Preventative measures” sees visitors setting themselves back $75 before even stepping foot into the casino.

Despite having spiffy pachinko parlors, horse racing, and lotteries, Japan still doesn’t have an official casino in the country.

In an effort to boost tourism, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has been lobbying for casinos to be legalized, a move that will likely come to fruition as long as said casinos are included as part of a larger set of facilities called “integrated resorts.”

As part of an ongoing movement to reduce gambling addiction, the government recently proposed a 2,000 yen (US$18.70) admission fee for those seeking to enter a casino’s premise, to which the LDP responded that there was no need to impose such heavy fees.

▼ Casinos attract lots of tourists, but adversely affect people too.

Komeito, LDP’s coalition partner, went the other direction and suggested an astronomical 8,000 yen entry fee, drawing inspiration from what Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands Casino did with theirs (US$76).

▼ That’s right folks, you’re already in debt before you even started.

The government also presented plans to lawmakers to limit the number of visits Japanese citizens can make to a casino, up to three times a week and ten times per month. Tourists in Japan, on the other hand, are not bound by such fees or limits.

The question is this: will these measures actually deter gambling addicts? An 8,000-yen admission fee may not mean much for high rollers, but not all of us are willing to dump our paychecks on a single blackjack game.

Casinos are hardwired to have a house advantage in their games, and by introducing an exorbitantly high entrance fee, visitors get shackled with a monumental task of winning back that money to break even in a limited amount of time, possibly tilting them further to losing even more.

▼ “I’ll win back that 8,000 yen in an instant.”
Nope, you’d probably lose a lot more than that.

Limiting casino visits sounds like it could be a decent idea, but lawmakers will have to iron out the details in order to make it really work.

Here’s how Japanese netizens reacted:

“8,000 yen is easy. No problems there.”
“Too cheap. Bring it up to 80,000 yen please.”
“I’m looking forward to playing in a casino.”
“8,000 yen is too high. Make it a little cheaper, like 1,000 yen or something.”
“Just make it 10,000 yen. If it’s too cheap, it’ll just feel like a cheap amusement park.”

The most dangerous way of thinking is to be overconfident in gambling, and thinking that a 8,000 yen admission fee can be easily recovered with a few rounds of roulette or baccarat might be a recipe for disaster.

An alarming number of Japanese people are already addicted to pachinko gambling, and there’s no telling how many more might get hooked when casinos finally make their way here.

Source: The Mainichi Newspapers via Hachima Kiko
Images: Pakutaso (1, 2, 3, 4)