In Japan, Pachinko games have acted as substitutes for slots machines for decades. Although pachinkos (a type of vertical pinball game) are technically an arcade game, they have been used for gambling purposes since almost the beginning. Over the years, the game has exploded in popularity.
Japanese pachinko operator Dynam Japan Holdings Co Ltd is investing heavily in the development of newer and more exciting pachinko machines – all hoping to conquer more of the machine gaming market. According to Kohei Sato, chairman and chief executive of Dynam, “apart from the dedication in exceling in our pachinko business, we will also strive to expand our new businesses by purchasing more aircrafts as well as developing new casino machines.”
With Japan now entering the casino market, it makes sense that Dynam Japan Holdings is looking to join that market as well. The change, however, will be slow, as Japan is managing the legalization of casinos very strictly. The first phase, which will last from 2020 to 2025, will only grant three casino resort licenses.
Technology is Changing Everything
The idea of focusing on gaming innovation for casinos is not new. According to Blaine Graboyes, CEO of GameCo, “Casinos have a massive opportunity to support gaming innovation that attracts ‘net new’ casino gamers and generates critical new incremental revenue.”
This isn’t meant to intrude into the gaming industry but instead find new ways to attract younger audiences with different interests. “Skill-based games and video game gambling present the valuable opportunity for operators to attract new audiences and generate new dollars for their businesses,” according to Graboyes.
While this isn’t a new strategy, the gambling industry has been focusing more and more on it in the last few years. Right now, the major interest is in slot machines that look and behave like video games, where there’s a lot more interaction and competitive play options. In Japan, this has also meant the introduction of electronic table games with live dealers, so those who want an authentic casino experience can still play from home.
What’s Coming Next
Changes in the gaming industry are revolutionizing the industry in many ways, including fully embracing online options such as live online betting. Jason Rosenberg, CEO of American iGaming Solutions, believes that “the gaming industry as a whole was so resistant to changing the formula that has worked for the last 50 years, but we are finally seeing interest and adoption of new gaming verticals and technology.”
“I think the biggest barrier is a lack of proper education of these new verticals that are already performing very well in regulated markets. Those operators that choose to ignore the technology trends that are coming their way will probably find themselves in a very difficult position in the near future.”
In some countries, like the U.S., changes depend mainly on legislation, which often falls to the states and it can be confusing when it comes to online gambling. What’s legal in one state can be prohibited in another, and finding ways to serve all those players in a clear, organized matter isn’t always easy.
The change, experts believe, are definitely coming– and the industry is slowly moving towards a time when technology will rule gaming even more than it does now. While this will make it easier for the industry to attract money, it will also provide more security, newer and more interesting ways to gamble, and more options for those who want to combine their love of gaming with a chance to win real money.
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