Japan is set to host its first national pachinko tournament for students, called “PS: JAPAN,” in the summer of 2023

According to the Japan Student Gaming Federation (JSPA) this event will be the first of its kind in Japan and will be open to university, junior college, and vocational school students from all 47 prefectures in the country.

The qualifying tournament will be held in all 47 prefectures, while the final tournament will take place in Okinawa Prefecture. The winning team will be awarded a scholarship of 1,110,000 yen (up to 7,770,000 yen) that does not need to be repaid.

The purpose of the tournament is to allow more young people to experience the excitement of pachinko and pachislot, and to compete in teams of three to seven instead of as individuals. To participate, students must agree to abide by the tournament rules, belong to a university, junior college, or vocational school, be under 24 years old at the time of competition entry, and be able to participate in both the local and national competitions.

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The tournament will consist of a pachinko/pachislot ball showdown, knowledge test, and prediction of settings, among other things. Participation prizes will be awarded, including tournament original goods, hall/maker novelty goods, and more.

Prior to the main tournament in 2023, a pre-tournament was held on September 24, 2022, at the Himawari Toyohira store in Hokkaido, with about 30 participants. The tournament was planned and operated by JSPA members and was considered a great success.

What is pachinko?

Pachinko (from Japanese – “パチンコ”) is a type of mechanical game that originated in Japan and is similar to a vertical pinball machine.

Pachinko is a type of arcade game that involves players firing small metal balls into a vertical playing field, hoping to land the balls in winning pockets. The balls can then be exchanged for prizes or cash.

Players load small steel balls into the top of the machine and use a lever to shoot the balls onto the playing field. The balls then bounce around the pins and obstacles on the board, with the aim of landing in certain holes that trigger features, bonuses, and payouts. Pachinko machines are typically found in dedicated pachinko parlors in Japan, where they are popular forms of gambling and entertainment.

In recent years, online pachinko (from Japanese – “オンライン パチンコ“) is also gaining popularity among young people.

About “All Japan Student Game Federation”

The All Japan Student Game Federation, established on September 26, 2022, aims to create new opportunities for the pachinko industry through student exchanges and practical activities that cannot be learned at university. It is a student group that seeks to find new possibilities, including the operation of national pachinko tournaments, activities to improve and popularize pachinko among young people, and supporting the recruitment of excellent students to the pachinko industry.

The JSPA will also hold contests to acquire young people, such as the “Miss Seven Audition” and “PS Music Audition,” as well as study sessions on gambling addiction and prevention of gambling addiction, and participatory projects such as the “Student-designed Food Contest” and the “Student-designed Staff Costume Contest.”

How will the pachinko industry in Japan develop in the near future?

Some industry experts predict that the pachinko industry will continue to grow in the coming years, with the introduction of integrated resorts in Japan, combining casinos with hotels, shopping, and other entertainment facilities.

However, others argue that the industry’s future is uncertain, given the declining birthrate and aging population in Japan, which could lead to a decline in demand for pachinko.

Regardless of its future prospects, the pachinko industry remains a significant contributor to the Japanese economy and a cultural phenomenon that continues to fascinate both locals and tourists alike.

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