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Casino committee studies gambling addiction

Date Posted: 2007-10-22

The Okinawa Casino Entertainment Analysis Committee is taking a wide ranging approach to preparing the prefecture for new gambling casinos.
A recent seminar led by the Committee’s chairman, Ketsu Kohama of Meio University, began examining the effects gambling could have on young people, and whether those circumstances could lead to gambling addiction. Ryukyu University Hospital’s Doctor Yu Murakami explained how gamblers could be protected when a dependence or addiction is observed. The individual and the family must be notified immediately, Murakami said, before the family and economic situation get out of control.
Haruko Kowatari wasn’t happy with the answers, asking “How do you think tiny Okinawa can protect young people?” Kowatari, Chairman of the Prefecture Women’s Association, said “You can’t hide any casino game from young people. Even now, pachinko games can’t prevent the young people from playing.” Another participant said “It is a matter of how to operate games while limiting the age of players.”
Kadena Town’s mayor pushed the point “it’s a matter of the social world how we think about casino games, and how we make a deal with the society.” He says “We have to remember there are risky things with casino games, the same problems as with pachinko games.”
Okinawa Prefecture Youth Training Committee chairman Akira Yamauchi asked “How shall we make a relationship between casino gaming with Okinawa tourism business? “
Yamauchi also wanted to know how Okinawa will relate to gambling in a natural and cultural setting, and how children should be taught about pros and cons of gambling.

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