Problem Gambling Hotline Receives 503 Calls in February

In the month of February, the Recovery Support Network (RSN), a pachinko addiction helpline headed by Naoyuki Nishimura, received a total of 503 calls to its hotline, 41 cases more than in the previous month. Among the calls received, 283 were made during the afternoon (10am-4pm) and 220 in the evening time period (4pm-10pm), with 8 of these being repeat calls.

Of the calls made to the RSN in February, 342 were from first-time callers, with 290 (85%) being made by people with addiction issues, and 52 (18%) from friends or family with concerns about an individual. When first-time callers were asked about how they discovered the hotline, the most common answer was “posters found in pachinko halls” with 112 calls (39%) and “the internet” being the next most common response with 82 calls (28%). Callers were allowed to give multiple answers.

Pachinko halls across Japan have awareness posters with contact details for the RSN in bathrooms and other locations, which have proven to lead to a greater rate of access to the network’s services.

For first-time callers who contacted the hotline in regard to personal gambling issues, RSN hotline workers recommended 32 of these cases to Gamblers Anonymous, 29 cases were referred to medical institutions (including second opinion instances), and 14 cases involved referrals to mental health and welfare centers. Some callers were given multiple recommendations. (Amusement Japan)