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2 pct of adults in Japan seen having gambling-linked problems

  • August 27, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 3:34 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Aug. 27 (Jiji Press)–Some 1.96 million people, or 2.2 pct of the total number of adults in Japan, are estimated to have had gambling-linked problems, including addiction, over the past year, a government survey report showed Friday.


The survey was conducted in October-December 2020 by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare based on a basic law for preventing gambling addiction. It covered 17,955 randomly sampled people aged between 18 and 74, of whom 8,223 gave responses.


From the respondents, potential addicts and others who may have had gambling-linked problems were selected based on related international standards. Such respondents accounted for 2.2 pct of the total. In terms of Japan’s adult population, the share represented around 1.96 million people.


The proportion of respondents who may have gambling-linked problems came to 3.7 pct among men and 0.7 pct among women.


The largest group of male respondents said they spent more money on slot machines than on any other forms of gambling. “Pachinko” pinball was the most money-consuming form of gambling for female respondents.


In a similar survey conducted in 2017, the proportion of people who may have been gambling addicts or had other gambling-linked problems among the whole adult population in Japan was estimated at 0.8 pct. A simple comparison cannot be made between the 2017 and 2020 surveys, however, because they employed different research methods.


A survey of people who joined gambling-related self-help groups was also conducted, finding that it took them 63.1 months on average to join such groups after they became aware of their problems.


“We need to think about ways to encourage people with problems to seek help more promptly,” said Sachio Matsushita, deputy director of the National Hospital Organization’s Kurihama Medical and Addiction Center, who was involved in the survey of self-help group members.

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