Pachinko is a Japanese arcade game, something similar to western culture’s slot machines. Pachinko is in the grey area of the law. Besides horse racing gambling is illegal in Japan, thus it’s understandable that pachinko earns more than Vegas. While there are no online casinos holding Japanese gambling licenses, there are many online casinos in Japan that accept Japanese players even to deposit in yen. However, on 1xBET Casino, for example, you can’t play pachinko.
Over $200 billion is spent on pachinko every year in Japan. This is three times the money ar Las Vegas casinos are making. There are more than 10 thousand pachinko parlor is waiting for gamblers all over Japan.
The grey area – How pachinko earns more than Vegas?
Pachinko is using a legal loophole as the balls that you win in the arcade game each has a worth of “special token”. Now, these tokens you can change for money. At the beginning of the 90s, most of the pachinko parlors were used by the Yakuza for money laundering. However, due to the effective work of the Japanese police, this is not a real issue anymore. At least this is what they say and what we want to believe. What we can know for sure is that pachinko earns more than the casinos of Vegas, Macau, and Singapore combined.
There is one thing about human nature that is quite predictable. If you are going to prohibit something than people will want to do that. This is why governments need to plant valves into the system so they are in control. Or at least they feel that way. When it comes down to frogs these valves are alcohol and cigarettes. In soft surpassing dictatures there are usually some comedians who can publicly make shows that are teasing (in a soft way) the government. This way the pressure is let out in a controlled way. I believe this is no different when it comes to pachinko, however, we have to add that it has great economic benefits for the Japanese government.
How big is the pachinko business actually?
As I mentioned above, in Japan there are over 10000 pachinko parlors. These low stakes machines are comparable to slot machine and they are making the same kind of money. We can picture this situation as there are 10000 casinos in Japan and people can’t play elsewhere. In 1999 Pachinko parlors were contributing to 5.6% to Japan’s GDP. At the moment they are earning double the money as the whole auto-export of the country. When it comes to employment the measurements are on a similar scale.
Pachinko earns more than Vegas as half of the recreational time is spent in the parlors
It is said that the people of Japan are spending half of their free time in the pachinko parlors. The government is trying to regulate the passion for pachinko. While they made regulations to limit the maximum prize that a player can win, the popularity of the pachinko machines is undiminished. A person is only allowed to play three times a week and they have to pay extra stay when they are entering a parlor. However, pachinko parlors are not on the edge of bankruptcy yet.