The Japanese law of 1907 outlawed gambling on pain of imprisonment for 3 years and exposure to a fine of ¥ 500,000. Recently, the government has sought to relax it. A decision that allowed in 2020, the opening of a casino room. Knowing that the Japanese have an admiration for games, a manufacturer has put forward what is called Pachinko. A game that has become very popular with locals as well as foreigners. But is it really a gambling game or not?

Pachinko: what is it really?

The Japanese love to take their time to relax with family or friends. Apart from board games, participating in animated games like pachinko can also be very interesting.

The pachinko was born from the fusion between a slot machine and a pinball machine. In the city of Osaka, this machine was intended for children. The situation changed, however, when the land of the rising sun discovered it. In the 1980s, this device was a huge success. It also allowed its builder to become the wealthiest man in Japan in 1989. A few years after its creation, the Pachinko is still one of the most popular games of the Japanese. He won over around 30 million players, a large portion of whom were seniors. This craze has multiplied the number of pachinko rooms. In 2013, the country had around 12,000 gambling halls intended for Pachinko.

Currently, there are over 2,000,000 machines in the 15,000 rooms. Many individuals, whether young or old, do not resist entering rooms that are both attractive and noisy. Note that the turnover of pachinko reached 174 billion euros in 2015. Today, this device is in 5th position in the country’s economy. Some people confirm that this machine is controlled by mafiosi.

Pachinko: understanding how it works

Pachinko rooms are generally located in lively neighborhoods or in front of train stations. To recognize them, just refer to their very bright posters, and voila! Once you pass the entrance hall, you can pick up some metal marbles. These will give you access to the device. The next step is to introduce them into the machine and then to manage their output speed as best as possible using a lever specially designed for this purpose. Since the balls come out randomly and then hit the different nails, your main objective is to lodge them in the winning hole. A system, like the one used in a slot machine, will kind of send you a warning signal once a ball enters the aforementioned hole. Also pay attention to the three wheels, each with a symbol. The winning combination is the one that exposes 3 identical symbols. As a reward, you will benefit from a few additional marbles, or around thousands.

Swapping marbles for money: is it possible?

According to, pachinko is very popular in Japan, but it is not the game of choice internationally. Currently, it is going through a somewhat difficult period, in particular because of the highlighting of certain dishonest devices. Faced with this, the company is looking for all means to attract more attention from the general public. For example, it offers them high sums for jackpots.

The pachinko seduces the inhabitants of the country at the rising sun, in particular by its principle. Since gambling is prohibited by law, the manufacturer has found another way to get around it. Indeed, once you have collected the balls mentioned above, you must first claim your ticket. This will show the total of your winnings. You can then exchange it for gifts. They are also very diverse: beauty products, snacks, DVDs, cigarettes, electrical appliances, and many others. It’s up to you to choose the one you like the most!

If you want to cash out, you can exchange the so-called special gift you selected for cash. For this you have to go to a dedicated place which is next to pachinko. You will therefore deposit the gift there and receive the change in return. This step was thought out because of the aforementioned law in force which stipulates the prohibition of the direct exchange between cash and balls.

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