Pachinko gaming is something which the Japanese Government will have considered carefully before legalizing casinos in Japan. 4% of GDP is already derived from the Pachinko gaming sector.
It is a frenetic game played in neon lit parlours using steel balls which clatter and rattle loudly to the music of techno and howling megaphone announcements. It is not like something else you are likely to have experienced before.
Surprisingly, playing the game is not really regarded as gambling although clearly it is. It is a bit like asking when is a game chance not a game of chance? It is a form of game where steel balls can be played into small holes and then redeemed for tokens. Seen by most, as a game of skill at which you can win.
Macau launched into life and quietly became the gambling centre of the world. It is now indisputably number one in the Asian gambling market.
Catch up with the Asian gambling market
Macau the Champion
Macau is a magnet for the Chinese who cross the border everyday for their gambling trips.
Once an old colonial trading port, Macau is now home to more than half a million people. Most of them are connected with the gambling industry in one way or another. Read about Macau gambling history. It is one of the most densely populated countries with a population density of 22 thousand people per square kilometre. (Hong Kong only has 6 thousand per kilometre)
Being the champion of gambling is not always the best place to be because other jurisdictions also have their eye on the business. Macau attracted almost 31 million visitors during 2016 and generated 28.33 billion dollars in revenue. It is unrivalled in term of revenue.
Japanese Gambling laws could be shaken up to legalize gambling and control it. Currently the serious gamblers go underground where it is controlled by the mobsters.
Japanese Gambling Laws
Gambling is largely banned in Japan with a few exceptions, betting is allowed on some sports. Japanese Government revenue is mostly generated from the state controlled Lottery and Toto which is a form of sports betting.
Gambling laws are controlled by Criminal Code Chapter 23 which covers public sports, lottery, pachinko, illegal gambling and casinos.