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After Flirting With Poker Ban, Japan Eyes Absurd Rules For Its Casino Poker Rooms

Acquaintances Could Be Banned From Sitting In Game Together


The bizarre idea to ban poker rooms inside Japan’s upcoming multi-billion-dollar casino complexes has been ditched, per a report from Mainichi Japan. But that doesn’t mean the games won’t be strange.

Japan’s government passed a bill in 2016 to allow for the casinos, but separate legislation is needed to hash out how the industry will be implemented. That process is currently ongoing, and it covers other issues such as the tax rate on the money the casinos take from unlucky gamblers. Japan is currently planning for three casinos.

Why were Japanese officials flirting with a plan to prohibit poker? It’s a really uniformed reason. They reportedly believed that the dealers would have a difficult time policing the integrity of the poker games, as opposed to house-banked games such as baccarat and blackjack. That’s a true head-scratcher, but poker players got lucky in the sense that the government abandoned the idea.

However, officials are reportedly eyeing a rule against acquaintances sitting at the same poker table together. How that could be enforced is a mystery. Additionally, dealers could be responsible for picking and choosing which players from the wait list can sit in the game. Anyone familiar with poker rooms in the U.S. will know that is a recipe for disaster.

Still, no poker ban is undoubtedly welcome news and the rules could be changed later.

The Japanese government reportedly was swayed by the argument that the casinos could host high-stakes poker tournaments that would attract tourists from overseas. The casino complexes, dubbed “integrated resorts,” are likely to have an entry fee for locals. Japan wants the resorts to be tourist traps, rather than a new form of entertainment for citizens.

Tags: Japan