Trends and Strategies at Pachinko Parlors and Parlor Operators in Japan: Key Research Findings 2022
Closing Rate of Pachinko Parlors Nationwide in 2021 Accounted for 8.5%
Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) carried out a survey on pachinko parlors and the operators nationwide, and found out the trends of parlor rollouts and closures, and store strategies at 170 groups of leading pachinko operators.
Summary of Research Findings
Conforming to revision of the regulations governing pachinko and pachislot machines, pachinko parlors have replaced all the pachinko and pachislot models in parlors with those that meet new standards. Because enormous expenses are required for the replacement, some pachinko parlors have given up rolling out new parlors, while some have closed or discontinued the business one after another. According to YANO Pachinko Database, the number of pachinko parlors counted 8,139 as of the end of 2021. Meanwhile, when observing the fans of pachinko and pachislot games amid the COVID calamity, there is a tendency of losing interest to the games concerned due to sluggishness in pachislot #6 machines, which kept low operation rate at newly opened pachinko parlors that should have attracted customers, making the market environment difficult to succeed.
The two indicators i.e. changes in group size during the past decade (fluctuation in the number of parlors within a company group during the past decade); and the average number of pachinko machines in group, were used to categorize the groups into the following four types: 1) Stable growth, 2) Top priority on expansion, 3) Under reorganization and curtailment, and 4) In need to take measures. As a result, 56 groups came under “Stable growth,” 32 groups fell into “Top priority on expansion,” 44 groups into “Under reorganization and curtailment,” and 38 groups “In need to take measures.” Although these 170 groups were at upper positions in the number of parlors operating, those categorized as “Under reorganization and curtailment” and “In need to take measures” representing decline in the number of parlors to operate, occupy 48.2%, indicating predicament of the industry.
Number of Pachinko Parlors Closed in 2021 Counted 745, Closure Rate Accounted for 8.5%
Of 8,778 pachinko parlors in operation as of end of December 2020 in YANO pachinko database, those that had closed as of end of December 2021 counted 745 parlors, with the rate of closure 8.5%. Until 2019, the rate of closure had been around 6%, but it rose to 8.1% by 2020. Decrease in customers visiting parlors and replacement of gaming machines due to revisions in regulations amid coronavirus calamity had affected.
The period to switch gaming machines expired in January 2022, which meant that the closure of parlors had continued even in 2022. Especially March came under Earnings season for many of pachinko parlor operators, which made some to close the parlors, taking opportunity of the season.
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