Pachinko addiction raises concerns in Japan

A study reporting at least 900k Japanese pachinko addicts has raised concerns in Japan as the government pushes for casino legalisation.

Japan.- Casino legalisation has been all Japan has discussed in the past few months and it seems to keep getting closer as time goes by. However, a recent study conducted by universities and support groups for people with addiction to pachinko, has revealed that at least 900k Japanese people are addicted to this popular pinball-like game and have raised concerns over gambling in the country.

“There has never been any research like this in the past so we never had any data before,” quoted Naoyuki Nishimura, founder of the Okinawa-based Pachinko Recovery Support Network NGO. “Now we are aware of the scale of the problem we can perhaps start to draw up plans to better help people who want to stop playing. Although I am concerned what will happen when the first casinos open.”

Casino legalisation, which will allow them to be included in integrated resorts, has divided the public opinion as the government promised to hold public hearings in communities that could host such developments. Earlier this month, during a hearing in Osaka, some emphasised on the economic benefits they would bring, while others raised further concerns over gambling-related crime and gambling addiction’s potential increase.

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