|Policy measures have so far failed to lift the Japanese out of a long-term recession, so maverick Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara gambling at a casino on Thursday to promote gambling as a way of bringing in much-needed jobs and money. |
Tokyo is in the vanguard of at least eight Japanese local governments who would like to place their bets on casinos to help revive their economies.
Gambling in Japan is tightly controlled and strictly limited to a handful of events such as horse races. Although pachinko pinball gaming parlours are ubiquitous and nearly always full, they do not provide cash prizes directly.
Casinos with cash prizes are prohibited. Complicated legal changes are required before any slot machines can start to whirl.