Toto and the lottery offer a chance to dream about that one big score. All the GI races are big news, and make good fodder for conversation with sporting-minded colleagues, although caution is recommended. Pachinko parlors are open every day, offering a long vista of lonely gambling sessions to the escapist, the masochist and the loner in each player. The government tries to police it only by trying to tax pachinko parlor owners. By Joseph Hincks January 30,
TOKYO (10 p.m.)
The loans must be repaid within the first two months. Defaulters will be penalized with an annual interest rate of Critics say the credit system essentially exploits the inherent desire of gamblers on a losing streak to keep playing in the hope of scoring a last-minute victory, heightening the risk of them succumbing to gambling addiction and accumulating multiple debts.
They also point out the planned system will be exempt from the current money-lending business law that stipulates individuals cannot borrow more than a third of their annual income, thus effectively enabling casino operators to decide at their own discretion how much can be loaned — possibly beyond the amount deposited in advance.
Another sign is the fact the government scrapped an initial upper limit on the floor space of casinos. A government task force originally recommended a maximum limit of 15, square meters to keep casinos under control, only to drop the restriction at the last minute and merely state that a casino must not occupy more than 3 percent of the entire IR space in which it is housed.
That basically means the bigger the IR gets, the bigger its casino can become. In fact, even with this 3 percent regulation, a casino double the size of that in Marina Bay Sands — an integrated resort in Singapore — could be built under a plan drawn up by Osaka, topping what is regarded as one of the biggest casinos in the world, said Ichiro Tanioka, head of Osaka University of Commerce.
By scrapping the 15,sq. The government is touting the IR facilities as — first and foremost — a boon for tourism to Japan. The opposition, however, says casinos will hardly be helpful to this end, questioning the extent to which they are appealing to foreign tourists.
Targeting residents from 12 countries and regions, including South Korea, China, the United States, the United Kingdom and France, the survey asked them which IR facility they would be most keen to visit during their trip to Japan, finding that only 7 percent chose casinos, whereas 46 percent voted for shopping malls, 43 percent for hotels and 40 percent for theme parks. Moreover, multiple municipal and private-sector surveys project that Japanese nationals will be much more significantly represented than visitors from overseas among IR clientele.
China plans to donate ibises to Japan in October amid warming ties China is planning to donate a pair of crested ibises to Japan in October as a symbol of friendship — the first such donation in more than a decade — amid warming relations between the two countries The jumbo lotteries usually offer a grand prize totaling about one billion yen. Numbers are printed on tickets, and these tickets are then sold to the public. Jumbo lottery tickets sell for three hundred yen apiece.
Customers have the option of buying either consecutively or randomly numbered tickets. The same system is used for the hyaku-en kuji one-hundred yen lottery , which is offered locally and more often, but for lesser prize money.
When buying tickets for these games, the customer has only to name the lottery and the number of tickets wanted, and whether he or she wants consecutive numbers renban , or random bara. Other games available are in keeping with those found in Western nations: The pick six game is fun, although players are forced to mark a card before making a bet.
In a rare departure from form, the odds of winning although not the percentage of the take returned to the public are written on the back of the pick six, three and four betting slips. There is also a quick-pick option that lets the computer pick the numbers. The prizes here depend on the amount of money in the pool. If there is no winner of the pick six grand prize, the money is carried over to the following week. In this way, some of the bigger prizes can begin to rival American lottery jackpots.
One of the attractive aspects of the Japanese lottery, aside from the fact that it is totally tax-free, is that in the unlikely event of hitting a jackpot, nobody else has to know about it. There is no obligation to come forward. The lottery association simply places some obscene amount of money in the winner's bank account, and that's it. Of course, tales are told of how someone always finds about the big lottery winner, who is then harassed by lowlifes, suddenly friendly relatives, or both.
Pachinko is unique because the government does not control it. The government tries to police it only by trying to tax pachinko parlor owners. It is technically illegal for pachinko parlors to hand out money directly to patrons, so they hand out tokens instead, which can be redeemed for cash at nearby cashing stations outside the shop, run by a separate token-redeeming business.
Each pachinko parlor sets its own machines any way its likes, although most conform to the industry standard. The word on the street is that the industry standard is roku wari gaeshi, or a sixty percent return. Compare that to an over ninety percent return rate on most Las Vegas slots, and you get a pretty good idea of just how bad a gamble this game is. Still, it is a mesmerizing activity that promises nightly amusement to those without a social life.
In Japanese films and television dramas, scenes of some exhausted husband going out to play the game often follow scenes of domestic spats.
Because pachinko requires a considerable investment of time, beleaguered salarymen can use the game to run from family responsibilities, demanding girlfriends, the bullying section chief, the kids who refuse to go to school, and the wife who finds pleasure in a different game. In other words, the escape pachinko offers has untold appeal. And the off-putting, miserable environment of the average pachinko parlor makes most salarymen feel right at home. Housewives and blue-collar workers may complain about the conditions of the shop, but not the man who works in an office.
White Collar loves this stuff. And because playing pachinko is physically grueling, salarymen feel less guilty if they win. After all, they have worked hard for their winnings. Pachinko is unique because winning, or even dreams of winning, is not really what pachinko is all about. That is why, of all forms of gambling in Japan, none is so quintessentially Japanese as pachinko.
What repels foreigners is the noise, the unnecessary steps involving steel balls and plastic boxes, the smoke, the constant barking by attendants, the act of staring for hours into a machine at clicking ball bearings - these being the very things that attract the predominantly male Japanese customer. Horse racing is a weekend activity, and it attracts people who want to make money.
Toto and the lottery offer a chance to dream about that one big score. Pachinko parlors are open every day, offering a long vista of lonely gambling sessions to the escapist, the masochist and the loner in each player. Judging by the enduring popularity of the game, there is a lot to appeal to. Read more on Pachinko. There are no legal casinos in existence at the moment, though Tokyo's ultra right-wing governor Shintaro Ishihara has been pushing them for years.
If Governor Ishihara is ever successful, we can easily imagine a Japanese-run casino: Roulette players allowed to bet only after marking their numbers on a card and giving it to a bureaucrat to stamp, sports betting allowed only after signing a declaration of belief in superiority of Japanese national teams, etc. The bicycle racing gambling system was always years ahead of horse racing and keirin does seem to have a devoted fan base.
Keirin is a homegrown sport that began very shortly after the end of World World 2. It involves a group of cyclists doing several laps of the course following, and paced by, a motorcycle. The pacer pulls away several hundred meters before the finish line allowing the riders to sprint for it. Keirin was devised expressly for the purpose of gambling, but had sporting legitimacy conferred upon it in when it became an Olympic event in the Sydney games that year.
Soccer gambling on Japanese professional soccer - J.