KOBE, Japan - Officials in the Japanese city of Kobe have unanimously voted to ban mahjong and slot machines at elderly care centres, amid fears of fuelling gambling addictions.
Japanese officials in the city of Kobe have issued a ban on casino-style games in daycare centres for the elderly due to fears they will trigger gambling addictions.
A growing number of daycare centres across Japan are offering the nation’s rapidly expanding pensioner population activities such as mahjong, card games and slot machine games.
However, officials in Kobe have expressed concerns that these games will fuel addiction among the city’s elderly population and undermine their efforts to be self-reliant.
Kobe Municipal Assembly unanimously adopted a local ordinance making it the first municipality in Japan to officially ban public daycare centres from allowing elderly visitors to play such games, according to Kyodo News.
The new ordinance reportedly bans daycare centres from providing games that “stir up a passion for gambling”, such as mahjong, slot machines and games using “pseudo currency” such as casino chips or advertising such activities.
The move was prompted by concerns that in addition to fuelling addiction, these activities conflicted with the spirit of the government’s public nursing-care insurance system which supports such daycare centres.