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Reports


MARKET REPORT: JAPAN


“Te Pachislot and Pachinko machine business will continue generating the majority of the Sega Sammy group’s earnings however the outlook does not warrant optimism given market contraction as the player population declines and the introduction of a series of voluntary regulations” Sega Sammy Chairman and CEO, Hajime Satomi


is not matched even by adding together all the world’s gaming machines. Terefore a certain market size will likely to be maintained even as the market shrinkage continues with Japan’s population decline.”


Sega Sammy saw total net sales for its Pachislot and Pachinko Machine Business of ¥148.2bn last year.


Chairman and CEO Hajime Satomi said in the annual report 2017: “Te Pachislot and Pachinko machine business will continue generating the majority of the Sega Sammy group’s earnings however the outlook does not warrant optimism given market contraction as the player population declines and the introduction of a series of voluntary regulations. Similarly the amusement machine sales and amusement centre operations area of the Entertainment Contents Business are unlikely to see significant market growth.


“Rather than relying on marked sales growth in these businesses, we will focus on establishing highly efficient business structures improving


P116 NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE /MARKET DATA


profit margins and generating stable earnings. Te Pachislot and Pachinko machine business will ensure that it prevails in the struggle for survival as the contract between winners and losers becomes even more pronounced among manufacturers.


“By investing cash earned through core businesses in a prioritised manner we intend to expand growth businesses. We will expand the digital game area as a driver of medium term growth.”


Machines launched into the pachinko halls must be approved via the Enforcement Regulation of Entertainment Establishments Control law so they must go through a testing and certification procedure before being supplied to the halls. Tis law was introduced in 2004 and the regulations have been revisited frequently and each revision has affected the market.


Tere are currently around 36 companies who manufacture pachinko machines and some 63 companies who supply the pachislot machines. Machine sales for the pachinko and pachislot


sector is said to be worth around ¥882.1bn divided between ¥524.5 (pachinko) and ¥357.6 (pachislot).


In a bid to broaden the player base new machines with weaker gambling elements were introduced such as lowering ball rental fees which although this increased utilisation it saw a decline in sales figures. In reverse it saw casual players leave the market.


Changes in testing were introduced in 2014 to help with gambling addiction problems which also had an affect on the market but many operators were cautious about replacing the existing machines with new machines compliant with the new regulations.


Tere are various changes the pachinko industry would like the authorities to change – high on the agenda is the limit that prevents pachinko parlours charging players more than ¥4 per ball. However amid the governments new anti gambling addiction bill it has unveiled some 3.2 million Japanese who have experienced problems. In a bid to help curb future problems


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