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Japanese Online Casinos

JP Casinos

We can easily describe Japan’s gambling situation with a single world – gray. The reason for this is that while the government of Japan allows betting on specific games and select sporting events, the rest of the gambling entertainment is considered illegal. Yet, being that there isn’t concrete legislation that prohibits other forms of gambling, nor are there laws that fully clarify the general gambling situation, just as with many countries around the world, these gambling activities are considered a gray area.

One of the reasons for this confusion lies in the fact that most of Japan’s gambling laws are simply outdated. In fact, many of the country’s current laws regarding gambling go back to 1907, when the government passed on laws that legally permit betting on specific events such as bicycle and horse racing. Later, the government decided to add motorcycle and powerboat racing to this list, which consequently made the popular “four public sports”, the only legally allowed gambling entertainment.

History of Gambling In Japan And Legal Gambling Activities

Yet, Japan’s gambling roots go even further back in history than 1907. In fact, Japan had a game similar to today’s lottery that existed since the 17th century. Despite discontinuing it in 1842, shortly after the end of World War 2, the government of Japan re-launched the lottery, with hopes to use the profits to rebuild the country after the devastation of the war. Today, Toto, the company that re-launched the lottery, is still the only state-licensed gambling entity in the country.

With that being said, let’s take a look at the complete breakdown of all gambling activities that are legally allowed in Japan.

  • Lottery (Takarakuji) – Japanese citizens can purchase lottery tickets at designated lottery boots that are sanctioned by the government. At the moment of writing, the only operator that is legally allowed to run a web-based portal is Toto.
  • Horse Racing (Keiba) – all of Japan’s major horse racing activity is currently operated by a single organization – the Japan Racing Association. In addition, there is a total of 24 non-jra tracks that are currently available across Japan, all of which are run by local governments.
  • Pachinko – one of Japan’s most popular games that are similar to the popular slot machines, Pachinko is a low-stake game that is famous for offering extra balls instead of additional spins. You can even exchange your winnings for more balls or additional bonus game features.
  • Bicycle Racing (Keirin) – ever since the end of WW2, bicycle racing is one of the most popular gambling activities in Japan. Despite having just a few tracks, cycle racing in Japan is considered a nation-favourite for more than 50 years now.
  • Powerboat Racing (Kyoutei) – one of the most exhilarating races in the world, Kyoutei is a powerboat race where six contenders race around two buoys with a distance between them of no more than 300 meters. Kyoutei is so popular that it even has a following in South Korea, similar to Keirin.
  • Soccer Betting (Shinko Kuji – Toto) – toto, or Shinko Fuji, is a form of soccer/football betting where the players can place bets on the exact outcome of the match. Similar to Takarakuji, players can also make Shinko Kuji bets either online, or in person, being that they can purchase both digitally and physically.
  • And this is what makes Japan so unique when it comes to gambling. You can legally bet on the lottery and the four public sports, yet, online casino gambling is prohibited, but not regulated. Since there is no legal framework whatsoever that prohibits playing at online gambling operators, it is considered a grey area, and as such, citizens from Japan can use the services of offshore online gambling providers without the fear of legal repercussions.

    Future Of Japanese Gambling

    Consequently, seeing the profits from gambling, as well as the fondness of the Japanese people when it comes to online gambling, the government of Japan has decided to reconsider its position when it comes to this activity. And this includes both brick-and-mortar and online casino laws. According to the latest reports, the Japanese government is in the process of developing a gambling legislation that would see all gambling forms in the country regulated, for the purpose of tackling the massive debt crisis.

    One of the ways that the Japanese government plans to do this is by issuing Western-like gambling licenses to operators, and overall creating a Western-style gambling environment. And given both the need of the government for an additional source of income, as well as the rising numbers of Japanese players who are into online gambling, coming up with new gambling legislation will be beneficial to both the country and the citizens.

    Our Best Japanese Casino Picks

    From here, given the complicated situation of the Japanese gambling scene, as well as the fact that players from Japan are limited to just four public gambling activities and a single lottery, it is no wonder why many players are joining offshore casino establishments. Not only do they match the unique style and demand for the excellence of the average Japanese player, but they also come with the utmost diverse entertainment, insanely rewarding promotions, and cutting-edge gambling features.

    This is why Gamblers Connect puts special emphasis on nurturing our Japanese casino sections. We know that our beloved Japanese players deserve nothing but top-tier online gambling operators, which is why we dedicate so much effort to finding you the best online casinos. We apply our strict criteria and relentless approach just so that we can filter out the best choices that go hand-in-hand with the preferences and demands of our Japanese visitors, which is a constant strive for excellence and perfection.