Japan: Pachinko halls show recovery

While some halls are still struggling, the industry overall is showing an improvement.
While some halls are still struggling, the industry overall is showing an improvement.

A survey has revealed some pachinko halls are returning to normal levels of sales despite the pandemic crisis.

Japan.- Pachinko hall sales in July reached 78 per cent of the sales recorded in the same month last year, offering signs of recovery amid the pandemic crisis.

According to the Statistics Survey on Specific Service Industries conducted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, pachinko hall sales in July reached JPY232.89 billion (US$2.20 billion).

That was an improvement on the previous months, when sales reached just 22.5 per cent of 2019 levels in May – JPY66.58 billion (US$630.4 million) – and 68.7 per cent of 2019 levels in June.

Year-on-year sales have actually been decreasing for 13 consecutive months, with the industry seeing a downturn since before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The survey conducted by the Statistics Survey on Specific Service Industries was intended to identify trends and only considered companies with the highest sales.

Of the 30 per cent of operators with the lowest sales that were not included in the survey, it appears that many have gone bankrupt due to poor sales or closed their doors due to a decrease in operations, so the actual rate of decline for the entire industry may be greater than the figures show.

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