Abbreviation: JPN
Population: 125,535,368 (2022)
Capital: Tokyo
Largest city: Tokyo
Regulated year: Act for Development of Specified Complex Tourist Facilities Areas (the Act) (2018)
Estimated revenue: US$6.7billion (2021)
Gambling age: 20 years old
Currency: Japanese Yen
Online gambling: Online Casino, Poker, Sports Betting, Bingo, Lottery

Japan, Gambling & Everything Else

Japan is located in East Asia and is an island country. It is in the northwest Pacific Ocean bordered by the Sea of Japan on the west, Sea of Okhotsk in the north, East China Sea, and Philippine Sea and Taiwan in the South. Its landscape is rugged as four fifth of its land surface is consist of mountains. Among these mountains are active and dormant volcanoes including Mt. Fuji or commonly known in Japan as Fuji-san.

Japan is also the eleventh most populated country in the world. It is also one of the most populated and urbanized country. The country has been inhabited since the Upper Paleolithic era. Japanese people are known for having a different culture from the rest of the world. According to many, self-development, harmony, and order are the three values which are held high in the Japanese society. Along with these are the importance of respect for the elders, working together, discipline, and perseverance.


Japan Gambling and Casinos

Gambling in Japan goes back during the Heian period, with backgammon as one of the earliest games associated to it. Similar to other countries, gambling in Japan was also openly embraced by the nation. However, centuries later, gambling laws were introduced in the country, forbidding both regular and samurai people to take part in wagers. During the 13th century, getting caught gambling would get you executed.

In 1700s, certain gambling activities like motorbike racing, sports events, and lottery were legalized. At this time, lottery was solely operated by the government, which made winning a big challenge. The law also required that all the prizes should be less than 50% of the total sales. The other half of the sales will then be used to fund state project and charities. However, upon the establishment of the Penal Code of 1907, all forms of gambling was banned in the country.

In place of casinos, the closest to slot machines that are allowed are Pachinko. Pachinkos were invented during the World War 2. During its peak in the 90s, it became Japan’s leading industries employing 300,000 and having over 30 million regular players. In 2018, the Integrated Resort (IR) Promotion Law was passed and immediately implemented. This law allocated land for land-based casinos as well as giving out licenses for operators.

Online Gambling in Japan

Up until today, the Yakuza still has full control over several areas of online gambling which includes underground Mahjong and casinos. Gamblers who turn into debtors often get a visit from the Japanese mafia if they fail to pay. Illegal gambling has a tendency to flourish as there are no legal casinos and sportsbook available for entertainment. Legislation regarding playing offshore online casinos in Japan is quite vague. Although, operating one in the country is definitely not allowed. In theory, anyone who logs in an online casino in the country will face prosecution. However, there is still no clear law that says so.

While there is no clarity on legislation regarding online gambling, the government allows betting on horse racing, motorcycling, motorboat racing, and cycling which is operated by the Japanese government or municipal bodies as long as they are operated by the Japanese government themselves or any municipal body.Even though it is illegal, there are still those who try to and many have been arrested. According to Japanese Minister Hachiro Okonogi, there is no intention on legalizing online gambling in the country.

Payment Methods in Japan

Although there are no Japanese operators of online casinos, Japanese gamblers play through offshore online gambling sites. Despite having a gray area, betting on horse racing, motorcycling, motorboat racing, and cycling which is operated by the Japanese government or municipal bodies are allowed. Here are some payment methods you can use to bet on the legal forms of games.

  • Cryptocurrency
  • Bank Cards (credit or debit)
  • Neteller
  • Skrill
  • PayPal

How to Bet Online in Japan

If you notice, all online gambling sites are based in other countries as Japan does not allow their licensed operators to launch one. So betting online is quite the same to most countries. You just need to find a trusted one that welcomes Japanese players. Then click the sign up button and register. Most online casinos require your name, age, birthdate, and your bank details.

Choosing a trusted and secured website to play is one of the first thing you should consider before signing up. After, filling up all the needed details, click register. Then choose the game you want to play, deposit the required amount or larger, if you want. In addition, most online casinos also give out welcome bonuses and other rewards with certain requirements. After all that, you can start enjoying your gambling journey the way you want it.

Online Games in Japan

As we all know, Japan is one of the front runners for games. However, they prefer phones and consoles rather than owning a home PC. At the current rise of online games available in smartphones, Genshin Impact has placed at the topic for being the most popular online game played in Japan.

On the other hand, as online gambling is practically illegal, players opt to play Pachinko or gamble through sports betting like horse racing, motorcycling, motorboat racing, and cycling. Nonetheless, Japanese gamblers find creative ways to enjoy and entertain themselves.

FAQs for Japanese Players

What forms of gambling is Legal in Japan?

Betting on horse racing, bicycle racing, powerboat racing and motorcycle racing that are run by local governments or government corporations along with the public lottery, and Japanese Football Pools.