Adults’ Gambling Addiction Rates in Yokohama Remain 0.5% Despite Fears That IR Could Fuel Problem Gambling

New survey results regarding the number of gambling addicts have been published by the authorities of Yokohama, with the figures showing that only 0.5% of the city’s adult residents are suspected to be suffering from problem gambling.

As The Nikkei explained, the aforementioned figure is set to be used by the city officials when they plan the measures to counteract problem gambling during the preparation for Yokohama’s integrated casino resort bid and as part of the health awareness measures in the city.

The survey, in which 3,000 adult men and women from 18 to 74 years of age living in the city of Yokohama took part, was conducted from December 2019 to March 2020.

According to the results that were revealed by the research, the ratio of people suspected to be experiencing problems when it comes to controlling their gambling over the past year was 0.5%. Most of them have spent money on slots machines and games of pachinko. As revealed by the report results, the average amount of money spent by such players was about ¥30,000 on a monthly basis.

Last month, the city of Yokohama published a draft on its implementation policy, revealing the criteria that would be applicable to gambling operators willing to establish an integrated casino resort there.

Survey Has Studied Motivations That Could Trigger Gambling Addiction

The Gambling Addiction Prevention and Recovery Support Center Foundation has provided a definition of gambling addiction, describing the problem as a condition where gambling on competitions or pachinko or similar forms of gambling interferes with the daily or social lives of the affected people and requires professional treatment.

The report has also revealed that other motivations triggering gambling addiction, such as escaping depression and anxiety, finding gambling a calming activity, chasing losses and looking for bigger thrills, could easily replace the healthy enjoyment gambling can bring. The above-mentioned motivations could make it hard for individuals to control themselves, making their thoughts more and more consumed by gambling.

Apart from that, many people start lying about their gambling habits, and the compulsive habit could put their relationships with their families and loved ones in danger. Of course, taking on debt or even stealing money to fuel the harmful gambling habit were also among the potential behavioral changes that could be seen in people who get addicted to gambling, according to the latest survey results unveiled by the city of Yokohama.

Considering the Japanese Government’s decision to expand the country’s gambling sector by the addition of casino gambling, and more specifically, larger integrated casino resorts that would involve both gambling and non-gambling services, there have been concerns that gambling addiction rates in the country would also increase in the months to come. Since the city of Yokohama is one of the destinations that are most likely to host an integrated casino resort, anti-gambling campaigners have shared fears that problem gambling rates in the region would considerably increase as a result of the addition of the new form of gambling.