Pachinko operator goes public on H.K. bourse

Kyodo

Dynam Japan Holdings Co., the second-largest pachinko parlor operator in the nation, began trading Monday on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

“This is the first listing of a pachinko operator in the world,” President Yoji Sato told reporters after trading began.

Sato said the proceeds from the public offering will mainly be used to finance the construction of 75 new pachinko parlors by 2015 and that the company has no immediate plans to expand into Hong Kong or elsewhere in Asia yet.

Dynam, based in Tokyo, is believed to run about 350 pachinko parlors nationwide. Although domestic pachinko firms have been trying to go public since the 1990s, none had managed to obtain a license, either in Japan or overseas.

Pachinko parlors are commonly viewed in Japan as gambling houses. The operators typically reward winners with tokens that can be easily exchanged for cash at counters nearby.

Chow Chung-kong, chairman of the Hong Kong exchange, said he believes Dynam is not involved in illegal activity.

“This is no different from any other gaming industry that is listed on the Hong Kong exchange and anywhere else,” Chow said. “If there are illegalities in operation in Japan, the Japanese police will enforce (the laws).”

The stock closed the morning session at HK$13.56 (¥137) per share, about 3 percent below the HK$14 set for the public offering.