An estimated 7.4 million legally-installed gaming machines were in the market worldwide last year. That is according to the latest edition of the “World Count of Gaming Machines” covering the year 2018. The research is compiled annually by the Australia-based Gaming Technologies Association, a body also known as GTA.
The worldwide figure for gaming machines included: slot machines; video lottery terminals and video gaming machines; amusements with payouts; pachinko and pachislot machines; and electronic gaming tables. The study covered gaming machines found inside casinos, but also elsewhere, including on cruise boats, in clubs and local bars, at racing venues and in amusement parlours.
The findings showed that 58 percent – or more than 4.3 million units – of the total gaming machines available worldwide in 2018 were located in Japan. That was despite an annual decline of 4.9 percent in the total number of units found in that country.
Japan currently does not have any casino operations: the country is in the process of legalising casino gambling. Japan does boast a large – and very popular – pachinko and pachislot industry. These traditionally are a crossover between a vertical pinball game and a slot machine.
Pachinko and pachislot machines are not officially considered gambling devices as the players can only win tokens or balls from playing them, to be exchanged for merchandise at the respective venue. “These machines have been included in the World Count however as the winning tokens or balls are exchanged for merchandise at the parlour and then in turn for cash from businesses that operate nearby,” the GTA report explained.
The Philippines had the second-highest tally of gaming machines in a regulated Asian market as per the 2018 survey: a total of 19,905 units, up by 3.8 percent in year-on-year terms, according to the report. Macau was in third place, with 16,059 machines. It was followed by Cambodia (7,660 units), Singapore (6,200), South Korea (4,309) and Malaysia (3,000).
The Gaming Technologies Association started in 1999 commissioning research for World Count of Gaming Machines editions. The 2017 version concluded there were at the time slightly fewer than 7.79 million gaming machines in aggregate worldwide.
The association is a not-for-profit trade group for the gaming sector. Its members include a number of global gaming equipment and technology suppliers with operations in Australia. The Gaming Technologies Association hosts and operates the Australasian Gaming Expo, held annually in Australia.
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”They want us to invest as well. The government there wants to see growth in Macau. We are not that concerned about that issue [licence renewal] at all”
Chairman and chief executive of Las Vegas Sands