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Business trends

Macau and Singapore offer lessons on fighting gambling addiction

Balancing costs and benefits key as Japan prepares to open door on casinos

A man tries his luck at a slot machine at a casino in Macau: Japan is grappling with how to address gambling addiction as it prepares to bring casino gambling into the country.   © Reuters

HONG KONG/SYDNEY -- As Japan prepares to open its first casino, possibly in the mid-2020s, concerns about gambling addiction are looming larger.

Japan may be able to learn from the steps other Asian locales are taking to control gambling addiction, while maximizing the economic benefit of casinos. Japan is thought to have a relatively high proportion of gambling addicts, compared with other countries, a problem often attributed to the presence of many pachinko pinball parlors and horse racing tracks near where people live.

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