Pachinko/Pachi-Slot Player Survey in Japan: Key Research Findings 2020
Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) has conducted an online survey and found out their trends of pachinko/pachi-slot fans and the future outlook on key business indicators of pachinko industry. Here, population of pachinko/pachi-slot players, other leisure and games that pachinko and pachi-slot fans play, and status of smoking by pachinko and pachi-slot players are covered.
Summary of Research Findings
It has been said that the pachinko industry has been shrinking for years since mid-2000s, with the number of pachinko hall operators, pachinko parlors, and player population of pachinko and pachi-slot all decreasing.
The amendment of regulation for gaming machines in 2018 required pachinko parlors to replace all gaming machines (machines compliant with the old regulation) with new compliant machines. The revision raise concerns that the fans of old machines may leave the market, while fan’s motivation to play is also anticipated to decline due to full enforcement of Health Promotion Law in April 2020 which prohibits smoking at pachinko halls. Moreover, since companies that cannot bear investments for gaming machine replacements would go out of business, the pachinko industry today has strong concerns for future market growth.
Based on the online survey done in February 2020 (n=30,000), population of pachinko/pachi-slot players for 2019 is estimated at 7.8 million. Compared to the survey done in the preceding year, the population shrunk by 0.4 million from 8.2 million, the data which backs the decreasing trend of player population.
In detail, male players accounted for 5.89 million (composition rate 75.5%) and female players 1.91 million (24.5%). By gaming condition, the result shows that 3.72 million (47.7%) fans play pachinko only, 2.42 million (31.0%) fans play both pachinko and pachi-slot, and 1.66 million (21.3%) fans play pachi-slot only. Considering the overlap, the number of pachinko fans is estimated at 6.14 million and the number of pachi-slot fans 4.08 million.
By age group, pachinko fans consist of more elderly than pachi-slot fans, indicating that the market is more vulnerable to decrease of players due to aging.
In this research, detailed survey was done on the actual gaming conditions as well as on other leisure and games that pachinko/pachi-slot fans play (respondents: 619 pachinko/pachi-slot fans). In addition, considering the full enforcement of amended Health Promotion Law in April 2020 which prohibits smoking within pachinko halls, the survey reveals the current smoking status of pachinko/pachi-slot fans and influence of non-smoking rules at Pachinko parlors.
< Other Leisure and Games that Pachinko and Pachi-Slot Fans Play >
Of all the leisure and games that pachinko and pachi-slot fans play, “smartphone games (free games)” scored highest at 29.2%, together with “smartphone games (paid games)”, 8.7%. Whereas the rapid growth of smartphone games in recent years is said to owe to pachinko player population, this survey indicates such possibility as well.
As to the lottery and public bets, the leisure with gambling aspects that stirs player attraction, high combination rates were found for “lottery”, 20.8%, and for “horse racing”, 15.2%. On the other hand, combination rate was low for “toto”, 8.1%, “bike race”, 5.3%, “boat race”, 4.5%, and “motorcyle race”, 1.8%. Although these have similar elements, the data shows that pachinko/pachi-slot players do not necessarily favor all leisure with gambling aspects.
< Status of smoking by pachinko and pachi-slot players >
In this online survey, among male and female between ages 18 to 70s (n=30,000), smoking rate was 18.5%. Nevertheless, among pachinko/pachi-slot fans (n=619), the rate jumps significantly to 58.6%, with male 61.0% and female 51.2%. Asked for the choice of parlors after enforcement of no-smoking law in April 2020, 62.1% of the smokers responded to “prefer parlors that allow smoking”, and 61.4% answered to “prefer parlors provided with smoking environment”. Considering the high smoking rate of pachinko/pachi-slot fans, it is critical to create ‘stress-free’ environment for smokers.
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