Slot machine addiction: Japan vs. the USA

When somebody says the word gambling to you – what do you think of? Chances are your first thoughts are America’s gambling havens Atlantic City or Las Vegas, known for their high stakes poker tables and oh so addictive slot machines.

But did you know that Japan is just as obsessed with slot games? While the two nations may be worlds apart in terms of culture, they are united by their love for gambling, but each country does slot machines very differently.


One of the most popular in japan, the slot machine game Pachinko is one of the country’s oldest gambling machines. Imagine a high thrills games of pinball, but as opposed to your traditional, no stakes American game of pinball, this one does indeed play with stakes, which go very high. Similar to America however, this slot machine game comes in a huge set of different variations and also features bright, exciting colours to keep you playing on.


The true embodiment of a classic Japanese slot machine, Pachisuro is a mix between Pachinko and America’s traditional fruit machines. With a colourful, exotic look, the game is easy to understand and play, and follows the same pinball format at Pachinko. However, while the steel ball will continue to fall down the pegs, with Pachisuro, there are reels in the background – the aim of the game is to collect matching combinations of symbols, which is where the classic American element comes in. Pachisuro is particularly popular amongst Japanese folk thanks to its highly generous payouts – a typical payout percentage will start at 90% and can sometimes go as high as 160%.

Vegas slot machines

You’ll find no such luck in America however, sadly, and this could indeed be why the typical American prefers a table game such as poker or roulette rather than the solitude of a slot machine. Comparatively, a normal Vegas slot machine will only pay out 75-99% – and the meaning of this can be questionable, as this is a total calculated over the average life expectancy of the machine.

What you see is what you get

Ultimately, however, the main reason that the Japanese prefer slot machines while Americans prefer table games is design. Americans have long criticised Japanese games for the bright colours that are so evocative of the Japanese culture, while over in Vegas, the simple reds and greens of the roulette and craps tables are much preferred. Translation is also an issue too, and many Japanese games have failed in the West simply due to language errors.

Whichever their preference however, the Americans and the Japanese can unite in the fact that there are an abundance of casino games to be played online from a variety of cultures, and as far as translation goes – well, the visuals often speak for themselves.