Japanese gaming machine manufacturer and IR operator Sega Sammy Holdings Inc is set to link with Kyoto University to conduct a three-year study into gambling addiction which it says “will be utilized in Japan to establish measures to prevent its onset, progression and recurrence.”
The research, to begin in 2018 and run through to 2021, will be led by Kokoro Research Center of Kyoto University and aided by the Graduate School of Medicine and will see data from overseas casino operations collected and analyzed with the aim of identifying signs that appear prior to a person’s engagement in dangerous gambling. The results are expected to elucidate the mechanisms that induce gambling addiction, the company said in an announcement on Wednesday.
Sega Sammy has stated its intention to pursue a Japanese casino license and has made no secret of the fact that its first foray into casino operations at Korea’s Paradise City – of which it owns 45% – is a move designed so it can gain IR experience.
In October, Sega Sammy revealed that it had increased the number of its staff deployed at Paradise City from six upon opening in April to 50 as of September, stating that the company was “seeking to acquire integrated resort development and operation insight for use in the domestic market through our involvement in Paradise City” and that its ambition was “to participate in all aspects of the integrated resort business, including casino operations … we have been preparing steadily to realize this ambition.”
Reaffirming its intention on Wednesday, Sega Sammy said that although it plans to enter the IR business in Japan, it “believes it is the responsibility of operators to deal sincerely with social issues.”
“For the introduction of IRs in Japan, advanced IR development based on study of precedent cases from other countries is required,” it continued. “This requires IRs to offer not only attractive facilities and content, but solutions to social issues.
“Sega Sammy has been working to develop a system for the collection of a type of player data at casino facilities that has yet to be achieved in existing operations. Using this research, we aim to build a system to identify players exhibiting signs of addiction and prevent further progression. At the same time, by establishing facility operations which encourage self-control and restraint, we aim to build consistent, systematic anti-gambling addiction measures through education, prevention and collaboration with medical institutions for treatment.
“Sega Sammy will press ahead with planning and development of IRs with the aim to create resorts that every customer can visit; with the peace of mind of contributing to economic revitalization and reinforcement of international competitiveness of the tourism industry.”
Kyoto University was founded in 1987 and is renowned as one of Asia’s premier research institutions, having produced a number of Nobel laureates and winners of other prestigious international prizes. As well as offering courses covering both science and the arts at undergraduate and graduate levels, it also boasts numerous research centers, facilities and offices around Japan and the world.