While arcades have been dying out (or already dead) in most countries, Japan’s arcade industry is still going strong. However, a newly-passed tax increase may soon kill off Japan’s as well. The new tax law will have consumption tax in Japan have an increase from 8 percent to ten. And while it may not affect food and beverages, it will have an impact on arcade games.
For decades, arcades have run on either 50 or 100 yen coins. But with the new tax increase, arcades might also increase their prices to around 110 yen per play. This might not hurt the big, famous ones like Mikado (pictured above), Taito, and Sega, but this might hurt small-time owners who have been in the industry since the 80’s.
“This industry might vanish,” a 47-year-old arcade owner in Yokohama told Sankei Business. “We cannot raise the price of a 100 yen game to 110 yen. The only choice is for the arcade to absorb the tax increase.”
Of course, while many arcades have been booming, the industry itself has seen a decline in Japan in the past decades. In 2006, Japan had around 24,000 arcades all over the country. But 10 years later, in 2016, that number fell by nearly half to 14,000. The new tax increase might further that decline.
However, there is hope in helping ease that tax burden with the help of digital money. In Japan, more and more arcades are now accepting just that. However, small owners might not have the capital to actually invest in digital money readers.
Another arcade owner, this time from Kawasaki, has told Sankei “It’s good not envisioning how things will turn out. Seeing one’s fate is a heart-breaking thing.”.
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