Gambling is technically illegal in Japan, but if there`s a will, there`s a way. That`s right some people have found some loopholes. In Japan the legal ways to "not gamble" is
- Playing Slots
- Playing Pachiko
- Betting on Horses / Bikes /Boats
- Maybe there will be a casino in Osaka soon?!? (cross your fingers)
I will be focusing on slots and pachinko in this article. The loophole with slots and pachinko is that you`re technically not gambling because, you pay money for tokens or the little pachinko balls. And you`re just "playing" with those tokens and balls.
Usually slots and pachinko are in the same establishment. You`ll know when you see one because of the flashing lights and the noise.
The slots are pretty straight forward. I think it`s pretty much the same in any country.
Pachinko is like an upright pinball machine. Each machine is a little different, but basically, you try to get the balls into a hole. I know it sounds easy, but it`s pretty difficult.
Each pachinko machine has a theme. Some are based on animes, idol groups, movies, games, and some are a little erotic.
HOW TO PLAY PACHINKO
1. Find a Pachinko Machine
2. Put money in the machine
3. Turn and hold the handle located at the bottom right of the machine (the point which you hold it is important/you have to aim)
4. There`s a certain area that is the best place for the balls to enter the jackpot area. (if it`s your first time I recommend you go with someone that knows, or you will literally be flushing money down the toilet).
5. If you win a jackpot and you have a lot of balls, slide the lever to empty your winnings in to the bottom tray.
6. If you hit multiple jackpots, and your tray is getting full, there`s a button you can push. A staff member will come and switch out the trays for you.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
1. Money goes fast, so be sure you know what you`re doing
2. You can practice or enjoy pachinko at arcades (of course you won`t win any real money though)
3. Sometimes the people in the pachinko place that are winning a lot are actually working for the shop (they`re trying to trick you into thinking that the payout is good)