Operating License System

To open a pachinko parlor, it is necessary to file an application for a business license with the police station which has jurisdiction over the location of the pachinko parlor and obtain the business license in accordance with the provisions of the Entertainment Business Law. Because this application requires considerable time and labor, the application procedure is generally entrusted to an administrative scrivener.

Generally, forty (40) to fifty (50) days are required from the time the application is submitted until the license is received. Requirements to obtain a license largely consist of “personnel requirements,” “locational requirements,” and “structural requirements.” Entity requirements include whether the applicant or managers have committed any crimes or illegal acts, recovered from bankruptcy, or had their entertainment business license rescinded within five (5) years, etc. Locational requirements are imposed to verify whether the pachinko parlor is located in an area where pachinko parlors are prohibited from operating due to an ordinance or other regulations of the relevant prefecture. Structural requirements are established to verify whether the pachinko parlor satisfies the standards for parlor structures as specified by the Entertainment Business Act and prefectural ordinances, for example, whether the pachinko parlor has facilities that obstruct the view in the parlor and advertisements that may be indecent or damage the integrity of the entertainment business, and satisfies the prescribed lighting requirements. In addition to these requirements, a pachinko parlor operator must comply with various regulations concerning operation of a pachinko parlor such as regulations for game charges and prohibited acts of pachinko parlor operators including the purchase of prizes. Furthermore, a fire station will inspect the structure and facilities of the pachinko parlor.

Game machines installed in the pachinko parlor also require inspection. At first, an inspection body examines whether the game machines manufactured by a game machine manufacturer comply with game machine regulations. If the game machines pass the inspection, then those game machines obtain official approval of the public safety commission of the relevant prefecture. As a general rule, a pachinko parlor cannot be operated with game machines that have not obtained official approval. A pachinko parlor that purchase game machines from a manufacturer is also required to have an inspection performed whether the game machines that have obtained official approval are properly installed or not. A pachinko parlor can be operated only after all of the above requirements were satisfied.