The city of Yokohama has published survey results suggesting just 0.5% of its adult citizens are suspected of suffering from gambling addiction.
According to The Nikkei, this figure will be used when the city raises awareness as a health measure, and the city plans to implement problem gambling countermeasures in preparation for its IR bid.
The survey found that the ratio of people suspected of having an addiction to gambling over the past year was 0.5%, with most gambling money spent on pachinko and slots. The average amount gambled by those suspected of having an addiction was JPY 30,000 (US$277) a month. The survey of 3,000 men and women living in Yokohama and aged between 18 to 74 years of age was conducted from December 2019 to March 2020.
According to the Gambling Addiction Prevention and Recovery Support Center Foundation, the definition of gambling addiction is “a condition where gambling on pachinko and competitions or similar interferes with daily or social life and requires treatment.”
It says the initial healthy enjoyment of gambling is replaced by some other motivation, triggering the condition, with motivations listed as:
- Trying to win back losses (chasing)
- Looking for bigger thrills
- Escaping frustration and depression
- Gambling is calming
These motivations prevent those suffering from stopping even though they are no longer having fun, leading to a series of potential behaviors such as:
- Thoughts are consumed by gambling
- Can’t control oneself
- Lying about one’s gambling behavior
- Jeopardizing relationships with important people in one’s life
- Taking on debt to fuel the gambling habit
DSM5 (mental disorders criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association) diagnoses a gambling disorder if four of the nine above points are applicable. Of these, playing to win back losses is considered an important factor.