Wednesday September 10,2014 : SIGN OF THE TIMES – PACHINKO POPULARITY WANES
Downward trend continues in July.
Statistics released this week by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry show that the once supremely popular game pachinko continues to decline in sales terms, sliding a further 10.1 percent in July 2014 to total sales of 372 billion yen (about $3.5 billion).
In June sales dipped 6.6 percent year-on-year after a bumper March in which pachinko delivered just over 400 billion yen in sales…but that was the only month this year to marginally turn in positive numbers.
The machine population remained about the same at a little over 627,000, and the number of parlours was largely unchanged, as was the national pachinko employee force, which remained at around 33,000.
Analysts troubled by the continued fall in popularity of the game blame economic conditions, the rise of mobile gaming, and increased optimism that the Japanese government may at last permit the construction and operation of land casino resorts in the country.
Other agents for change are probably a younger playing demographic and the rise in the number of women playing the game.
One major pachinko supplier, Dynam Japan, has already indicated that in the advent of land casino gambling it intends to be part of the nascent Japanese gambling market.