Just like the lottery, more people are hopeful that one day they can hit it and disappear in this world, live in luxury, enjoy the money, or buy everything else they wanted and the likes. Each year, Japanese spends $200 billion on vertical pinball-like slot machines called pachinko – free casino games online. I would say that’s 30 times more than the gambling revenue of Las Vegas or double Japan’s export car industry, and more than New Zealand’s entire GDP.
There are a lot of pachinko parlors around Japan that is very enticing for players due to it’s colorful and flashing machines, who can possibly resist? The goal is just to drop as many silver ball bearings as possible into a middle scoring hole by just turning a single wheel that controls how the balls shoot into the machine, before bouncing down pins that the house regularly reconfigures to ensure it always comes out on top. Then, you’ll get a prize in a form of a chip or disc and by converting it into cash, that simple. You don’t need any skill to win at a slot machine, just pure luck pulling off the lever but pachinko is different. It requires skill and technique to turn the handle to aim and control the shots.
This cash exchange was once controlled by Japan’s mafia, the yakuza, but is now can be played in many places. People who don’t have any jobs turned themselves into this game and became a place of employment for them as well. Then, eventually, people will fall to this game as an addiction that even people who have decent jobs would spend their own earnings until nothing is left. I remembered my auntie who was very angry to my Japanese uncle, who happened to be a yakuza and a government employee but lost everything because of that addiction and contributed to the destruction of their family, unfortunately.
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Gambling is illegal in Japan, but this one is an exception and treated like an amusement activity. So, if you wanted to have a good past time and somehow be rewarded by any items or even tokens to be exchanged in the form of money, this could be your one way of saying that gambling is not gambling.