70% of Japanese ex-gamblers would use COVID-19 subsidies to feed gambling addictions

According to a survey reported by Asahi Shimbun 23% would have gambled away their handouts as well as their family’s

In a report released on May 8th by the Society Concerned About the Gambling Addiction in Tokyo,  70% of former gamblers said that if they did not quit their gambling addiction, they would have used the COVID-19 subsidies issued by the Japanese government as gambling money.

The Japanese government, last month announced that it will provide Japanese citizens and foreigners resident in Japan with an epidemic lump sum payment of 100,000 yen per person to help them weather the health crises.

The president of the Tokyo Public Welfare Organization Gambling Addiction Concern Association, Noriko Tanaka, said that this move may be good for bad things as gambling addicted people might be on the verge of using this money to gamble.

Noriko Tanaka, the president of the Tokyo Public Welfare Organization Gambling Addiction Concern Association, was diagnosed with gambling addiction herself.

The association survey covers 216 former gamblers:

  • 47% of them said that if they didn’t quit their gambling addiction, and were receiving 100,000 yen as an emergency payout they would have gambled it.
  • 23% said they would use their handouts as well as the ones given to their families to feed their addiction if they were still into gambling.
  • Affected by the epidemic, a great number of Pachinko halls in Japan had to close. However, 60% of the respondents said that after receiving the subsidy, even if they are unable to gamble as most casinos and parlors are closed, they would have found other alternatives.
  • In total 70% of ex-gamblers see cash handouts as money to wager

We've recently been reporting about the Wakayama Prefecture IR which is said to envision a Las Vegas – style casino resort integrating multiple hotels, exhibition facilities and retail elements. The prefecture is looking at the alleviation of certain gambling measures such as handing gamblers an “IR card”. This will allow Japanese Nationals to place wagers only through the card that needs to be pre-loaded with cash, requires a setting of gambling limits and helps keep track of gambling addiction behaviors. 

About SiGMA Digital Summit:

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