Japan mulling pachinko tax

    Japan may consider regulating and taxing the country’s pachinko parlours, according to a Reuters report. The news agency cited Takeshi Iwaya, a leading proponent for casinos from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, as saying any move to change pachinko laws should come once casinos are up and running, which could be as early as 2020, when Tokyo will host the Olympic Games. One potential proposal would be to allow players to swap their winnings for cash inside the pachinko hall, which is currently illegal. Most players leave the parlours to swap their winnings for cash at external booths, thus circumventing the law. Another proposal is to bring the existing system under state supervision, the report said. Both would generate about $2 billion in revenue for the government, the report said. At present there is no consensus on how to best regulate the industry.