Pachinko revenues have now fallen on a year-on-year basis for 11 consecutive months
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry disclosed Japan’s national obsession, Pachinko parlours, revenue of JPY66.58 billion (US$620.6 million) from May recording 77.5% year-on-year decline as reported by Inside Asian gaming.
This was due to the closures of Pachinko halls across the country from April to May instructed by the government as a measure to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
The survey, that followed a variety of business trends such as revenue for specific service industries, showed results extracted from profitable operators covering approximately 70% of annual sales. Hence, the figures in the survey results vary from the figures of the industry in general.
Pachinko hall revenues hit 80.4% in March compared to numbers extracted from March last year. Pachinko revenues have now fallen on a year-on-year basis for 11 consecutive months with April revenues dropping to 38.2% compared with the prior year.
Pachinko, is a pinball derivative, the objective of the game is to fire silver ball bearings into a central scoring hole to trigger a jackpot. The game is played by millions of people and is a national obsession in Japan, generating $200 billion profit per year.
Pachinko has been around since 1940s. Nowadays, machines are much more sophisticated and addictive compared to the original mechanised game and this game has been classified as an “amusement” rather than a gambling game. The game operates in a legal grey space in spite of Japan’s strict gambling laws with the only exceptions for betting on horse racing and some auto races.
Back in April, Pachinko parlors resisted prefectural governor’s request to close and had threatened the non compliant pachinko parlors with the exercise of Article 45 - to make public the names of business operators refusing to cooperate with efforts in order to protect public health during the emergency. Pachinko Parlors have followed authorities requests since then.
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