The Uprise of the Japanese Gambling Market

3 weeks ago
The Uprise of the Japanese Gambling Market
24 Sep

Since Pachinko rooms are always packed, one would think that Japan has a gambling culture. The image these parlours paint is that of a gambling powerhouse with one of the most successful online casinos in the world. But this couldn’t be further from the truth because gambling is illegal in Japan. 

In fact, the decade that began in 1991 saw Japan’s gambling industry record a staggering decline after peaking at 91 billion yen. As of the year 2000, the revenue from this industry had scaled down to 86 billion. 

So what do the Japanese Gamble on?

The million-dollar question then is; what does the Japanese gamble on? We have already established that most forms of gambling in Japan are illegal; so how do gamblers scratch their itch?

Well, players are allowed to bet on boat and horse races, as well as participate in the state-run lottery. Betting on races in Japan peaked in 1992, but then it suffered a decline afterwards. In 1997, the central horse race gained popularity due to the fifth triple-crown horse Narita Brian whose jockey was Jocket Taketoyo.

However, this popularity was short-lived, and the central horse race’s revenue turned negative after 1998. 

On the other hand, the lottery market has always had huge potential; especially because its traditional paradigm liberalizes it. Initially, people needed access to coupons to be able to buy lottery tickets. Nowadays, you can buy actual lottery tickets directly without needed coupons. 

Even though the market is still small, it’s exponentially growing. It might not yet compare to markets in the US and Europe, but their investments in advertising will result in significant progress. 

Pachinko as the Gambling Ruler

Pachinko parlours in Japan rule the gambling industry. Japan is on the map because of these traditional gambling setups. In fact, Japanese Pachinko alone makes the country’s gambling industry the largest in the world. 

Gamblers cannot be awarded money prizes in Pachinko rooms; instead, they get golden tokens that they can sell for cash. 

Until recently, Pachinko was the preferred source of entertainment for most Japanese locals. Thousands of gamblers used to gather in smoke-filled parlours to relieve stress and the end of the day. 

Pachinko has, however, suffered a decline as are people no longer allowed to smoke in these parlours. 

In their place, Japanese online casinos are slowly, but surely gaining in popularity. These online gambling platforms are becoming popular with millennials and generation Z because casinos aren’t considered illegal in Asia. Japanese players can visit the website 招きネコカジノfor all information related to online casino in Japan.

Hopefully, by 2025, all online casinos should be legal and regulated in Japan. If things fall into their places, Japan is destined to be a gambling powerhouse to reckon with.

Land-based Pachinko Parlours VS. Pachinko Online Video Games

Still, on that Pachinko vibe, it would interest you to know that it’s pronounced as puh-ching-koh. The game is so popular that Japanese players can now access it online. The aim of playing the game is to try and control where a ball goes. There are a series of levels to be played, which means it definitely gives players that adrenaline rush gamers are always seeking. 

In land-based parlours, there is a vertical machine that people play on, and some of these machines can process up to 100 steel balls per minute. The game usually ends with you losing all the balls or exchanging your steel balls for prizes. 

Prizes in Pachinko parlours can be as big as an electric scooter, a computer or a bicycle, but you can also end up with something as small as a cigarette lighter. 

There exists over 13,000 Pachinko parlours in Japan, and this explains why the gambling industry brings in so much revenue. The parlours are usually very noisy settings, and the machines are crammed up together to fit in as many as possible. 

If you want to play for real money, you can try out Pachinko online. This way, you can avoid crowded Pachinko parlours and enjoy the exciting game at the convenience of your home. 

Many online Pachinko platforms offer realistic video games that give you surreal gaming experience. The online Pachinko games usually have eight rounds, and each one comes with unique features. Besides, online Pachinko games allow you to cash in after any round. You can also play all eight rounds before cashing in huge payouts. 


Pachinko is big in Japan because it has been one of the legal gambling activities for years. Today, players can access an online Pachinko video game that’s just as exciting as the one in land-based parlours. As Japan looks to legalize online casinos, Pachinko will still play a huge role in entertaining players and bringing in gambling revenue.

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Writer and semi-retired poker pro from Edinburgh (UK).Read more


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