Three questions about Japan’s bet on casinos William Pesek, Asia Times · January 25, 2018 at 8:41 pm For Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the stakes are high as he moves to open up his country’s gaming sector. Only a minority of Japan’s 127 million people support casinos, fearing crime, addiction and personal bankruptcies. But Abe is rolling the dice. In December 2016, Abe rammed through legislation to legalize gaming houses (at the time, only 12% of Japanese were in favor). Since then, bureaucrats have dithered on writing up clear rules on licensing, taxation, zoning and social safeguards.