Pachinko: a Japanese addiction?

Graham Brooks

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Pachinko is an ‘amusement arcade’ type machine that is popular throughout Japan. It is simple and easy to play and has all the hallmarks and structural features of gaming machines worldwide.While the academic discourse on the addictive potential of gaming machines is well developed, its application to pachinko is very limited. This is, perhaps due to a number of factors: pachinko is seen as a game rather than gambling in Japan and any reference to addiction has therefore been ignored or downplayed;most of the literature on ‘playing’ pachinko is journalistic rather than academic; and that which is academic focuses on police corruption and organised crime, rather than addiction. However, due to its addictive potential and its popularity, an estimated 17.1 million ‘players’ providing revenue of 2.87 trillion yen, we seek to address the paucity of literature on such a popular and potentially addictive game, and suggest from our findings that unless pachinko is viewed as a type of gambling, present changes in legislation are of limited value in tackling addiction.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Event7th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology - Bologna, Italy
Duration: 26 Sept 200729 Sept 2007


Conference7th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology


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