Japan: Pachinko profits plummet 27% in 2020

The pachinko industry had a tough 2020 year signed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The pachinko industry had a tough 2020 year signed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

A new report says that profits dropped by 27 per cent in 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Japan.- Pachinko parlour revenues declined 27 per cent, from US$133bn to US$49.2bn, in 2020, while terminal gross profits dropped from US$21.4bn to US$8.1bn according to a report by Daikoku Denki.

The pachinko industry has been declining for years due to the development of online games, but the crisis has been accentuated during increased confinement due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tsuyoshi Tanaka, executive officer and managing director of Amusement Press Japan, said: “The segment that lost the highest player population in 2020 was not the elderly, but the younger players.”

In 2020, the number of active pachinko halls fell by 584 to 8,302, a 7 per cent decrease year-on-year.

In May, Dynam Japan Holdings, one of Japan’s largest pachinko hall operators reported an 82 per cent drop in net profits year-on-year to JPY2.36bn (US$21.6m). Total revenue for the year ending March 31 amounted to JPY98.60bn (US$904.2m), down 31 per cent when compared to the previous year.

Although Japan is planning to allow the development of three Integrated Resorts in the country, pachinkos won’t be offered at the venues. There are currently four cities bidding for an IR licence: Yokohama, Nagasaki, Osaka and Wakayama.

In Yokohama, Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s prime minister, has given his support to former National Public Safety Commission chairman Hachiro Okonogi as a candidate for Yokohama’s upcoming mayoral election.

Suga also encouraged the Liberal Democratic Party to support Okonogi, although pro-IR Yokohama mayor Fumiko Hayashi has confirmed she intends to run for a fourth term. Okonogi has said that if he becomes mayor, “the first thing” he will do is stop Yokohama’s integrated resort plan.”

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