According to the British company Global Betting and Gaming Consultancy, every gambler in Japan spends about $318 per year on bets. As a result, the turnover of sweepstakes in Japan reaches cosmic values — 127 million. Meanwhile, the total revenue of the Pachinko industry is $200 billion, which is comparable to a third of the annual sales of the ten largest Japanese automakers. These astronomical figures are not surprising: every tenth citizen of this country plays Pachinko. After the legalization of gambling, this market will continue to grow and provide the Japanese with more opportunities. Today, we invite you to study the tastes of Japanese gamblers in terms of casinos.
Online casinos in Japan
Online casinos are gaining popularity not only in Japan but all over the world. Nevertheless, virtual gambling remains in the “gray zone” in many countries, including the Land of the Rising Sun. There is no single section in the Criminal Code dealing with virtual gambling, which means that the Japanese are free to gamble overseas without consequences. In this regard, this list of internet casinos sites may be useful.
Thus, online casinos and bookmakers licensed by reputable regulatory bodies such as the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gambling Authority are available to Japanese citizens. These organizations guarantee the fairness and legality of the games offered by the operators.
Unbelievable popularity of Pachinko salons
For many Japanese, playing Pachinko is a way to have fun and make easy money. Among the visitors of gambling salons are office employees who play between business meetings or are looking for relaxation after work. They spend several hours a day in salons, punching metal balls on the playing field. One ball costs from 0.5 to 4 yen. The maximum winning is 4 thousand balls, which players can exchange for prizes: bags, chocolates, cigarettes, equipment, but more often — for special plates with a gold core. They can be returned for cash.
New opportunities after the legalization of gambling
Pachinko, lotteries, betting on horse racing, as well as boat, motorcycle, and bicycle races have long been the only permitted forms of gambling in Japan. At the same time, the money turnover in these sectors opens new opportunities for the state. The Asian investment bank CLSA predicts that the industry’s annual revenue could reach $25 billion a year, almost four times more than the revenue of the largest casinos in Las Vegas.
Now, the Japanese gambling industry is expected to move to a new level: in December 2016, the parliament adopted a law on the legalization of casinos. Gambling establishments will appear in the largest cities in the form of integrated entertainment complexes with hotels, shopping centers, and restaurants.
The idea of turning Japan into a gambler’s paradise has been discussed by local politicians since the late 90s. Then the mayor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara, proposed to build several casinos on the artificial island Odaiba and thus provide additional tax revenues to the budget. “This will make Tokyo “better for everyone” and create 10,000 new jobs”, he said.
Since then, parliamentary groups have continued to discuss the legalization of casinos. However, Prime Ministers avoided political risks that outweighed the economic benefits of a controversial decision. In that situation, there was a breakdown when in 2012 the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had to revive Japan’s stagnant economy.
“These entertainment complexes will attract investment and help create jobs,” he said after the law was passed. Also, the emergence of casinos stimulates tourism, which is gradually becoming a new driver of economic growth for Japan. The emergence of casinos will help the Japanese to monetize the tourist flow better.