On April 10, the Yokohama municipal government released the results of its first survey on gambling addiction in connection with its plan to host an integrated resort (IR) featuring a casino. Of the 1,263 adult citizens interviewed by the city, 0.5% showed signs of being addicted to gambling in the past year, which is lower than 0.8% reported in a similar survey conducted by the central government in 2017.
Yokohama City adopted the “SOGS” screening test for the survey, as the central government did, and targeted 3,000 adults aged 74 or younger who were randomly selected. Of them, 1,263 people were interviewed by a contractor of the municipal government at their homes, with a response rate of 42.1%.
Sachihiro Ochi, a medical doctor who has long worked with addicted patients in the Kotobuki district of Yokohama’s Naka Ward and who opposes the city’s IR bid, points out: “The survey response rate is low. People who struggle with addiction may have avoided the survey, so I have doubts about the accuracy of the findings.” (Abridged)