Japan hits pachinko harder than casinos will

In an effort to prove they can be tough on problem gambling, just in case of casino legalization, Japanese authorities have cracked on pachinko payouts. That low blow will further shrink the uniquely Japanese phenomenon of pinball amid cacophony, video and smoke that’s lost two-thirds of its players since 1995 but still brings in US$33 billion in gross revenue.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes, editor at large for Inside Asian Gaming and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.