The number of players peaked in 1995 and began trending downward due to casual players leaving the market because an increasing number of machines featured more complicated gameplay or strong gambling elements. As a result, the pachinko and pachislot machine market*1 entered a period of long-term decline.
Focused on controlling excessive gambling elements, the regulatory revision of July 2004 narrowed the scope of pachislot machines’ gameplay.
After the interim measures period*2 ended in fall 2007, pachinko hall operators proceeded to replace pachislot machines with those compliant with the new regulations. As a result, the departure of players, particularly pachislot core players, from the market accelerated due to the major change in gameplay.
Subsequently, there was a marked decline in interest in pachinko and pachislot among young adults, traditionally the core player group. This decline was attributable to the diversification of pastimes that accompanied the expansion of the market for game apps for smart devices and the further departure of casual players from the pachinko market due to the increasing installation of pachinko machines with a strong gambling element.
As the player population decreased, the deterioration in pachinko hall operators’ financial positions became more pronounced, affecting the pachinko and pachislot machine market significantly.