Japanese Pachinko Parlors Could Be Victims Of Their Own Success
Back in August we reported on the move by pachinko parlors to modernize their operations in order stay current and appeal to the younger population. To put thing in perspective there are over 12,000 pachinko parlors in Japan alone. These machines go back to the 1920’s where pachinko was a popular children’s toy.
The amount of revenues these seemingly archaic machines generate in Japan is staggering. Although being in decline the last few year’s revenues for pachinko were $175 billion last year. This is more than double Japan’s motor industry export revenues. Currently Pachinko is still not considered gambling as it is considered a form of amusement.
A report in Business Insider sheds some light on the Pachinko industry’s dilemma. With Japan set to legalize gambling, pachinko operators might well be a victim of their own success. The government has turned a blind eye to these revenues but many are predicting that the Japanese government would prefer to have these establishments classified as gambling in order to collect billions in tax revenues.
Added to this is the fact that the pachinko industry itself is looking to reinvent the image of old men engaging in a traditional game by modernizing the facilities and building resorts around these popular machines. This will put them on par with luxury casinos. This upgrade of the somewhat traditional seedy parlors could well fall into the plans of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who wants casinos to become family resorts. With the proposed upgrades to the pachinko parlors this could well mean the Japanese Government could place them alongside casinos which would mean gambling taxes. It remains to be seen if the planned upgrade to the existing pachinko parlors hinders or help this massive money making industry.