International edition
September 28, 2021

Congress is expected to decide on their gaming policies soon

Pachinko ‘power’ to decide fate of Japanese casinos

(Japan).- The pachinko industry could prove to be the key to legalising casino gaming in Japan. Pachinko is a huge industry estimated to be worth between us$ 50 billion and us$80 billion. Some have suggested that the government of Japan is seeking to keep pachinko and casino gaming separate, with those involved in pachinko unlikely to be considered for a casino.

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owever, speaking at the G2E Asia conference yesterday, Takashi Kiso, CEO of Tokyo’s International Casino Institute, said that there is no discussion to bar pachinko operators and manufacturers from the casino process. In fact, the pachinko industry is one of the largest lobbying groups pushing the legalisation of casinos.
“Without their lobbying power, we cannot realise the casino legalistion. We need their power,” he said, adding that if casinos do come to be legalised, the pachinko industry will be part of the process. The question remains though, whether Japan is ready to legalise casinos. The answer, it seems, is not quite yet.

Having already brought draft casino legislation to the National Diet, Japanese lawmakers have failed to sign it into law. In recent years, this has largely been due to casino gaming being down the list of government priorities and the ruling party’s lack of an effective majority.

Next week, both the ruling DPJ and the opposition LPJ parties are expected to decide on their own gaming policies. “We’re gradually moving forward,” said Kiso. “The question is whether we can do it in this National Diet. The Diet closes next month.”

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