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900,000 people estimated to have a Pachinko gambling disorder

An estimated 900,000 people in Japan may be addicted to pachinko and pachinko slot machines, according to a national survey released on Thursday, reports The Mainichi.

The survey included a sample of 9,000 men and women between the ages of 18 and 79 who were selected by random sampling a questionnaire between January and February of this year. 5,600 surveys were returned.

Of the respondents, 47 people said they had a “playing disorder” which interfered with their mental health, household finances, work, relationships or other parts of their life in the past.

21 said they had experienced issues within the last year. If extrapolated, the figure translates to around 400,000 people nationwide.

"We need to implement social countermeasures," commented Japan Women's University sociology professor emeritus Nobuo Makino, a member of the group.

"I hope we can pinpoint the causes, and start considering ways to prevent and treat the disorder," said Makino.

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