According to online gambling news in Japan, the boss of one of the three Yakuza organized crime families has disclosed during an interview the amazing profitability of the Japanese game of Pachinko.
Japan currently has 17,000 Pachinko parlors spread throughout the country, primarily controlled by the Yakuza, which generates a mind numbing $28.5 billion US dollars per year for the crime group. The icing on the cake is the complete legality of the Pachinko game under the Japanese gambling laws.
The connection between Pachinko and Yakuza intensified as most of the criminal group’s other rackets became less profitable, the overall increase in prison sentences for convicted gangsters, and the difficulty in finding fresh members to renew the sagging membership books.
The ‘fixes’ at the horse racing events which were a big money maker in the past are now an impossibility due to close monitoring by Nippon authorities. To diversify, the crime group also invested in a number of foreign based online casino in Japan along with mobile cock fighting in the Philippines.
Pachinko is an original Japanese game, a combination of a slot machine with a pinball machine inside that is legal under the country’s gambling laws since a clever multi-stage process was invented of paying the winner which circumscribes the letter of the law.
Mr. Greg Gutsko, a frequent business traveler to Japan and an avid Pachinko player explained that “while Japanese law prohibits gambling for money, shavings of pure gold are exchanged for pachinko balls. Money never changes hands inside the parlor which is perfectly acceptable to the Japanese public.”
The gold shavings are taken to a nearby gold exchange and sold to a separately registered company. In essence, the law remains unbroken even if its spirit is. Pachinko is not regulated which creates plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs willing to create a regulation with a clear set of rules.
The Korean and Japanese mafias, along with other foreign criminal groups, prevent such meddling due to the value of Pachinko not only for its high profitability and low risk but also as a means to launder the proceeds of other criminal enterprises.
During the same interview, the boss of the Yakuza complained that today’s Yakuza apprentices are whiny and prefer to run away after making a mistake instead of cutting of a portion of their pinky as proscribed by the Yakuza tradition, and presenting it as a gift to their superior.
The mafia boss even said that the current crop of apprentice gangsters will just as likely run and inform on their immediate superior to the police and no longer have the honor of the samurai but rather the weakness of an undisciplined puppy.
The Yakuza leader also hinted at branching out and contacting the leadership of Russian, Italian, Mexican, Nigerian, Albanian, and Vietnamese organized crime groups to become more involved in international criminal activity.
Yakuza has currently heavily invested in Macau casino along with the Macau triads along with Spanish and South Korean businessmen using the dividends earned from the Pachinko parlors around Japan.