Pachinko parlors ordered to close during Japan’s third state of emergency

By Violeta Prockyte

Japan has announced a third state of emergency in the country that applies to Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures, which will require the closure of local pachinko parlors.

The pachinko businesses were requested to close their doors during the first state of emergency back in the spring of 2020. However, some venues defied the request. This time around, the local governments can order the suspension of business. Failure to comply with the order would result in fines.

Pachinko parlors with more than 1000 square meters of floor area have been ordered to suspend business until 11 May, reported Asia Gaming Brief. Smaller parlors were asked to follow suit. However, there has been no confirmation if the pachinko venues will comply with the new requirements.

The gaming industry in Japan is undergoing some changes, driven by the upcoming introduction of casinos in the country. Earlier this month, the Japan Casino Regulatory Commission (JCRC) released a report on casino regulations and licensing, with some of the focus on stopping organised crime from infiltrating the industry.

Inside Asian Gaming reported that specialists from a consultancy firm Bay City Ventures stated the commission is working towards a clear goal. “The process for Japan is clearly based on Nevada licensing procedures with an emphasis on exclusion of organised crime,” said the firm’s managing director Joji Kokuryo. “The same requirements also apply to casino-related service and product suppliers such as gaming machine suppliers.

“While the Japanese government’s goal of being the most tightly regulated gaming market in the world is far from complete, they have certainly taken the important first step of being the most highly regulated industry in Japan.”

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