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Japan – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
Japan is a country focused on its own traditions, rules, and culture, and this is also noticeable when you’re looking at the gambling industry. The market for casino gambling and sports betting is rather restricted, with the government offering a portion of the services while another part is offered in each municipality.Online casino gambling in Japan is considered illegal. Although the laws are primarily aimed at those offering the games, customers are also under risk of being charged with a crime for participating in illegal gambling. The Japanese government does not differentiate between gambling at local versus foreign online casinos.
There’s a lot to keep in mind when choosing a casino online. Many players located in Japan choose their online casinos based on what they can’t get from the licensed gambling options available in the country. Online operators can offer extensive selections of video slots, classic slots, live casino tables, sports odds, and game show games, all of which are unavailable in Japan.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of online casinos available today, and understanding which are good and which aren’t isn’t easy. These are a few things that will determine if a casino online is good or not.
- Is the casino site in Japanese?
- Can you use Yen as a currency?
- Does the casino offer the games that you want to play?
- Which license do they operate under?
- Is customer support available, and are there Japanese-speaking support agents?
- Do you have a good range of payment methods to choose from?
- Can locals participate in promotions, receive offers, and join the loyalty program?
Finding answers to these questions might take a lot of time, so we’ve gone ahead and done the job for you. GoodLuckMate has listed all online casinos that accept players from Japan, and we’ve also reviewed them. The reviews answer the questions above so you don’t have to.
The government and municipalities regulate any gambling offered in Japan. The Integrated Resort (IR) Promotion Law and Implementation Law were put in place in 2016 and 2018. These laws split the country into “IR-areas” in which certain gambling rights are allowed. There are three IR areas in Japan, and in each region, there’s one land-based casino. Land-based casinos require a license to operate, and this license is only given to IR operators certified by the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism under the IR Implementation Law.
In Japan today, legal online gambling is betting related, and players can bet on horse races, bicycle races, motorcycle races, and motorboat races. The lotteries are also allowed, both online and offline, and municipal bodies provide these.
Any other form of online casino activity is illegal. Although operators are the ones who are prosecuted for offering gambling, for players, gambling isn’t entirely without risk. The Japanese law states that, if the crimes of the operator are deemed severe enough, players may also be prosecuted. This happened in 2016 and 2017, although the player involved in the 2017 case was acquitted.
As you can see, engaging in gambling beyond what the government and municipalities offer is risky. Players who wish to participate in online gambling are putting themselves at risk. It’s up to players if they want to take that risk or not; we are not recommending that you do so.
Although online casinos are not allowed to operate in Japan or cater to Japanese players, there’s a large number of casinos that do offer localized sites for Japanese players to gamble at. Since the law is unclear regarding the legality of gambling on foreign websites, this is something that is rather commonly done throughout the country, with very few repercussions.
You’ll be able to find casinos in Japanese that offer Yen as currency and that have established payment methods, such as e-wallets or various kinds, credit and debit cards, and bank transfers.
If you want to engage in legal gambling, the land-based casinos or the betting options in Japan are the choices that are available to you. There are also thousands of “gaming halls” throughout the country where people can play Pachinko and similar games.
Because the legality of Japanese players participating in online casino gambling at foreign casino websites is still not 100% clear, there is some risk involved in doing so. GoodLuckMate does not recommend that anyone participate in illegal activities, so gambling online is something players choose to do at their own risk if they’re living in Japan.