Efforts for the Prevention of Pachinko Addiction

Pachinko and pachislo are well known to the public as mass entertainment. However, we must admit that there are different risks involved in pachinko and pachislo, such as financial problems (debt, unemployment, etc.) psychiatric problems (depression, etc.) resulting from pachinko addiction, and crime due to debt.

Pachinko and pachislo provide feelings of pleasure and excitement. In addition, the situation differs from person to person (loneliness, stress, etc.). Pachinko addiction is a complex problem caused by multiple factors. However, the pachinko industry cannot stay away from this problem simply by insisting that each player should be responsible for it. In particular, the hazards of leaving infants in hot cars while their parents play pachinko has drawn attention as a social problem. In response to this, the industry has undertaken specific measures against pachinko addiction.

A typical example is the third-party organization (authorized nonprofit organization) Recovery Support Network (RSN), which was established in 2006. This organization was set up based on discussions by the Society for Research on Pachinko Addiction, which was organized by the Zennihon Yugi Jigyo Kyodo Kumiai Rengokai (Japan Federation of Gaming Business Associations) in 2003. The RSN provides free telephone counseling services. It helps solve problems by referring the person to a self-help group to help them recover from addiction or to a judicial scrivener or a bar association to resolve financial problems. This RSN anti-addiction campaign poster is put up on walls in restrooms at pachinko parlors. In addition, campaign handouts and pocket tissues are distributed to raise awareness and introduce RSN.

Additionally, the industry has pushed forward with various efforts, such as the introduction of a self-declaration program for players themselves to limit the number of visits to pachinko parlors and the amount of money to spend; cautioning players against playing excessively, and also, not allowing people under the age of 18 on business premises for any reason. These industrial efforts are required anew by the “Basic Law against Gambling Addiction,” enacted in 2017.

Some pachinko industry related associations, as well as companies that run pachinko parlors, continuously support local self-help groups. Thus, the pachinko industry believes it needs a long-time approach and will continue to implement further measures in the future.