Feb 16 What happens in Vegas doesn't always stay
there, and senior citizens in Japan are profiting from it.
An elderly daycare centre in the Japanese capital of Tokyo,
Day Service Las Vegas, has adopted a winning formula to keep its
residents entertained with casino-style games, such as poker and
pachinko slot machines.
"This place is the best. They have games. It's great," Yusai
Urazumi, 92, said as he played poker with friends on Thursday.
Urazami begins his mornings with stretching exercises and a
health check before rolling up to the cards table.
Gambling is illegal in Japan and no actual money changes
hands, but the players say they participate for the sheer
"Even if you don't understand the game, it's fun to play,"
said Katsuko Kikuchi, 86, as she took a break from a round of
mahjong at an automated table.
Kaoru Mori, president and director of ACA Next, which runs
Day Service Las Vegas, said a visit to a Las Vegas casino hotel
during a research trip to study seniors' care facilities in the
United States inspired the programme.
"A lot of elderly were playing so cheerfully and that made
me think, 'I wish I could bring that type of joy back to
Japan,'" Mori said.
Demand for senior care institutions is growing in Japan,
where almost 27 percent of the population was older than 65 in
2015, the government says.
There are 15 senior Day Service Las Vegas centres in Japan,
two of them in Tokyo, the company website showed.
(Reporting by Teppei Kasai Writing by Karishma Singh)