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Japan Plans to Give Health Insurance for Gambling Addiction

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Slots on top of Tokyo, Japan as gambling would be covered by health insurance.

The Japanese government is planning to create gambling retreats and finally legalize local casinos. Even though there are controversial discussions and accusations of corruptibility, the country is still planning to move forward with its plans.

To assure that at least one of the problems related to legalizing casinos is solved, the Japanese head of the Ministry of Labor, Health, and Welfare (MOH) declares a list of updates for government plans for public health insurance. It should soon cover treatment for people struggling with gambling addiction.

The Ministry expects these updates to become adequate arguments for disputing with some anti-gambling opinions. The Japanese government refreshed its list of medical expenses on February 7.

As The Japan News says, the innovations occurred after a consultative board, where the local Council for Central Social Medical Insurance proposed some updates. New medical assistance expenses and coverage for gambling addiction are amid them.

While discussing the subject, the director of the Kurihama Medical and Addiction Center Susumu Higuchi says that people addicted to gambling need to take part in a newly created program on a long-term basis. In Japan, there also numerous addicts who have not tried the treatment at all yet. Mr. Higuchi insists it’s vital for these people to start therapy be a part of a new program.

The Japanese government in 2017 tried to learn how big the gambling industry was in the country by handling a nation-wide survey.

Gaming in Japan

More than three million residents of Japan out of a total population of 125 million are classified as gambling addicts, or at least having a gaming problem, the survey discovered. The local game «Pachinko» is called the most famous one in Japan.

The Japanese government announced that 2,019 gamers were taking part in health insurance covered programs in 2014. In 2017 this number came to 3,499 patients. Nevertheless, the Ministry assumes that at least 700 thousand Japanese residents are addicted to gaming today.

The government has plans to create new clinics and hospitals, especially for gaming problem patients. They are to be built in all 47 Japanese prefectures.

New facilities are expected to start working at the end of February 2021. Currently, 35 such hospitals were already in place by August of 2020.

The new Japanese insurance program should cover difficulties induced by newly opened gaming resorts and casinos.

As some analysts say, an addicted person will anyway find addiction, and it could be anything: fast food, gaming, or some other weakness. Nevertheless, players are going to play, and public insurance should help those addicted not to cross the line and get the aid they need.