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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 February 1 - 7  > Gambling-induced economic loss could be five times more than economic ‘benefits’
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2017 February 1 - 7 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Gambling-induced economic loss could be five times more than economic ‘benefits’

February 4 & 7, 2017
An economic loss induced by casino gambling could be five times as much as any “positive effects” if casinos are legalized in Japan.

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Shimizu Tadashi at a House Budget Committee meeting on February 3 warned the Abe government, which seeks to legalize casino gambling as the centerpiece of its growth strategy, about the potential risks associated with the introduction of casinos.

Shimizu said that gambling addiction in many cases lead to low productivity and even loss of employment. In addition, he said that gambling in general helps bring about a broad range of negative impacts on society, such as an increase in crimes, a decline in people’s motivation to work, multiple debts, family disruptions, and suicides.

He cited South Korea as an example. The data released in October 2012 by the Korean government National Gambling Control Commission states that casino-linked economic losses reached 78 trillion Korean won (7.7 trillion yen), accounting for 4.7 times as much as the economic gains.

The JCP representative asked Prime Minister Abe, “Why is it that you are so eager to legalize casino gambling?” Abe, who is the chief flag waver of casino resorts, did not give an answer to this question and said, “It will contribute to regional development and industrial promotion.”

Shimizu then asked, “Don’t you ever think that such a ‘growth strategy’ could negatively affect many people?” Abe responded, “I will try to minimize the risks so that people will not end up in misery.”

An opinion poll conducted by Kyodo News Service in December 2016 shows that 75% of the respondents answered they don’t want a casino resort in their community while 22% answered in the affirmative.

* * *

It was learned on February 6 that 2,328 out of all cases indicted in 2016 were gambling addiction-related crimes.

According to the data the National Police Agency submitted at Shimizu’s request, the number of crimes triggered by gambling addiction increased by 626 from a year earlier.

The figure indicates that gamble-induced criminal offenses have been on the increase.

Past related articles:
> Bills to cut pension benefits and legalize casino businesses forcibly enacted [December 15, 2016]
> LDP and Komei together with Ishin forcibly begin discussing bill to legalize casinos [December 1, 2016]
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