Pachinko Gaming and Addiction in Japan

Gambling and casinos are most often associated with the Western world. However, plenty of games were invented in Asia. They have been around for hundreds of years and then travelled to Western civilisation. The rise of the internet changed not only the gaming industry in the West but also in countries such as Japan. The arrival of the Internet age changed Japan itself. Their culture is now mostly recognised by Anime and Nintendo. However, there is another game that comes from Japan and is once again on the rise in the country. It’s called Pachinko.

A mechanical game which is both a recreation arcade and as a part of the gambling industry. It is as prevalent in the country as the slots are in the West. It looks like someone took a classic pinball machine, turned it vertically and changed the inside. It uses little steel balls rented out to the player by the owners or the parlour itself. The players use the balls to place bets and start and play different games on the machine.

The little balls are introduced into the device, and a spring-loaded lever releases them. The playing field has brass pins, cups and they hope the balls will fall into one of these cups. The balls bounce from pin to pin which slows them down and allows them to travel all over the playing field. Many of these machines have little flippers that expand the width of the catchers, making it easier to get the ball in.

It is a fun game, and the parlours are very popular and widespread across the country. However, gambling is addictive, and the rise of addiction cases to this game is reaching new heights.

There are now more than 900 thousand addiction cases where Japanese Pachinko is named as the main issue. The Japanese government is working on legislation that would legalise casinos. But research suggests that the number of addicts should raise concern in the country as a whole. This is the first time any research dealing with gambling is published.

Now support organisations like the Pachinko Recovery Support Network NGO is aware of the data. It means they can get together and put some plan of assistance into action. This point raised the question of how the Japanese public will react to the first legal casino.

The opinions about legalising casinos and including the in hotels and resorts are different. The government wants to have a public discussion in communities and in the country to determine the overall mood. There are enormous economic benefits that communities could tap into. It would improve the infrastructure and create new jobs. However, the addiction concerns are also on the front lines of these talks.

It is important to make people aware of the dangers of addiction whether it’s traditional slots, modern video games or the more traditional Pachinko. Japanese society could benefit from the legalisation of casinos. As long as there are mechanisms in place that would help people who want to stop and give up playing.