In its ongoing series of sex businesses that flopped, Nikkan Gendai (July 11) takes up a “gambling club” that opened in Tokyo’s Shibuya district in 1991. Winners were treated to the sight of young female staff incrementally removing their garments, and a lucky streak at the table might result in a gal stripping down to nothing but her dainty lace panties.
And if a player got really lucky in the final round, he won the right to take the lady out of the club on a date.
Incidentally, the females employed therein were not sex industry professionals, but moonlighted from office jobs or were college students. They were pretty and cute, but the cost of a date — no sure thing to begin with — didn’t come cheap. Since each round at the table cost 5,000 yen, customers dropped an average of 30,000 yen per visit.
To take out the girl, moreover, the customer was obliged to challenge her to a final game in which the two alternatively thrust tiny plastic swords into slots in a toy barrel. The one whose sword caused the figure of a “Blackbeard” the pirate to come popping out was the loser. If the customer lost at this point he could not take the girl out, but for the outlay of an extra 5,000 yen, he would be permitted to fondle her breasts.
After these considerable expenditures of money and effort to win fair lady, alas, very few the winners ever managed to go all the way.
When told by his date, “I’ll give you a hand job but no sex,” a male customer proposed, “Well then how about you do 69 with me, and we’ll get each other off?” For this privilege he offered her an additional 10,000 yen.
But this particular gal, while officially enjoying “amateur” status, happened to be a virtuoso at fellatio, and she could quickly overcome any challengers before they could mount a crack counterattack.
The gambling club thrived for the first year, but by 1992 a new type of shop called a tsuredashi kissa, a coffee shop that let customers take their pick from a staff of high school girls, began grabbing away business. The teens could first be viewed through a two-way mirror. This was still prior to the passing of the Tokyo ordinance prohibiting sex with minors, and for the bargain rate of 20,000 yen, customers were able to get honban (the real thing) with a teenage cutie — something the gambling club didn’t provide despite considerably higher customer outlays.
Meanwhile, tsuredashi sunakku take-out establishments in Shinjuku began offering similar short-time romps with Southeast Asian females for the same 20,000-yen fee.
With such paltry returns relative to the high outlays, it was hardly surprising the gambling club was doomed to extinction. Two and a half years after it opened, it folded and cashed in its chips for good.
Source: “Tsuredashita onna no ko to honban dekinakatta ‘gyanburu kurabu,'” Nikkan Gendai (July 11, page 28)