Online Casinos In Japan
In regards to the legality of online gambling in Japan, there are severe restrictions that are in place and at this time, residents only have the ability to wager online when betting on public sports events or the national lottery.
However, there is still the ability to access online casinos in Japan that are operated in other countries, so Japanese gamblers do have the option of engaging in online gambling activities.
The Japanese government did try to place a ban on these sites, but since the country has no jurisdiction over the sites operating on other locations, there is no way to ban access to the sites, allowing Japanese players the ability to access off-shore casinos and play games for real money.
This article contains the following sections:
Popular Online Casinos In Japan
If you are a fan of online casino games - below you will find a list of popular online casinos in Japan that offer the latest online casino slots and a choice of the most played Live casino games including poker, roulette, blackjack, baccarat and a number of other interesting gambling games to choose from.
For customer convenience, all these online casinos accept cryptocurrency as a payment and withdrawal option!
Japanese Gambling Games: Pachinko
Pachinko - is a gaming machine like a pinball, which is not officially considered a kind of gambling and is not recognized as such by Japanese laws due to historical, economic and cultural reasons. Similar machines exist in all cities of Japan and belong to private companies. If a pachinko player pushes the ball into a particular hole, he activates the slot machine and in the event of winning the jackpot receives additional balls. Players exchange balls for prizes of different value, but not for money, as this goes against the gambling laws in place.
Often, players exchange pachinko balls for products, which are then sold for money at nearby stores. Usually, these shops belong to the owners of the pachinko machines, but as long as the players do not try to get money, they do not violate the law.
In order for any business or establishment to operate pachinko machines, they must receive a permit from the local public safety commissions. The games must all take place in a specialized parlour in a shop where players have the ability to exchange any tokens that have been won for merchandise. Due to the laws that prevent online gambling, there are no pachinko games that are offered online.
Lotteries in Japan are called “Takarakuji” (Jap 宝 く じ). Special points of sale lottery tickets are always open and are organized by the authorities of large cities on a regular basis throughout the entire calendar year. There are three types of lotteries: a lottery with a unique number, a lottery with the selected number and cards for strikethrough numbers (Scratch Cards). Each lottery ticket costs from 100 to 500 yen (¥) and the main prizes will offer the chance to win 100 million yen and above. The lottery law states that the prize should consist of no more than 50% of ticket sales, and the rest should go to the income of regional government bodies and charitable organizations.
There are some great options when looking to engage in lottery games in Japan. While these games may not pay the huge jackpots that are found in other countries, they do provide some attractive rewards and they are one of the few legal forms of gambling allowed in Japan. Here, we take a look at the popular Japanese lottery games that are offered:
Scratch Cards – These are instant win lottery games that can be purchased at lottery stands around the country. Scratch cards have been offered in Japan since 1984 and they remain a popular choice. The most popular card sold for 200 yen includes Scratch Lottery, Mrs Happy Link Puzzles Scratch, and Premium Scratch.
Numbers 3 and Numbers 4 – These are daily lottery games where the player will have to pick 3 or 4 numbers from 1 through 9. A single bet on these games will cost 200 yen and there are different ways to win prizes. Payouts are based on how many correct numbers have been chosen as well as the order of the numbers.
Lotto 6 – This is a draw game that is played twice a week, on Monday and Thursday. Tickets will cost 200 yen and will offer 7 slots to select 6 chosen numbers from 1 to 43. There is also a slot for a bonus number. There have been times where the jackpot for this game has reached 1 billion yen, which will be won by getting all numbers and the bonus number.
Lotto 7 – This is almost the same as Lotto 6, but players will be able to choose numbers from 1 to 37 and there are nine slots to choose seven numbers and two bonus numbers.
Mini Lotto – This has become a very popular game that was introduced in 1999. It is a weekly lottery draw game and features 6 slots to choose five numbers. There is also a bonus number available. Getting all numbers in the correct order will earn a jackpot payout, which can range from 6 to 14 million yen.
Jumbo Lottery – There are just four of these games played throughout the year, and each ticket costs 300 yen. Players will choose 6 numbers and a bonus number. Payouts for this game are quite large, so it is the main attraction for lottery fans.
Year-End Jumbo Lottery – This is also referred to as The Nenmatsu Jumbo Takarakuji and it is the largest lottery game in the country. The rules are similar to Jumbo Lottery, but the draw only takes place once a year, on New Year’s Day.
In addition to the lotteries, Japanese love to bet on sports, especially horse racing.
There are certain forms of sports betting that are allowed in Japan and these are referred to as “kayay kuyogi” events. These include public sports such as racing, cycling such as keirin, boat races and speedway races. They are authorized by special laws and managed by a regional government or government corporations. The prize pool for these types of events ranges from 75 to 80% of all sales. It is possible to place bets in large cities in Japan, including Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama and Nagoya.
Horse racing in Japan is operated by the Japan Racing Association when races are national events and by a local municipality when they are local events. Both types of races are overseen by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries.
Japan is home to 15 local horse race tracks and 10 national venues.
Boat racing is also legal in Japan and all motorboat racing is operated by The Foundation of Japan Motorboat Racing Association. Fans of motorboat racing can enjoy events that are held at 24 different courses. The JKA operates any and all bicycle racing events as well as motorcycle races.
Gambling Licenses In Japan
Gambling is not a legalized pastime in the country, but it is possible to get a license to operate legal pachinko and pachi-slot games. These are considered to be games of amusement and do not fall under the category of casino games, which are prohibited. There are some restrictions in place for operating pachinko parlours, and these state that no parlour can be operated in any residential area. The venue must also be with certain distances from various establishments, including:
Any applicant trying to get a pachinko license must not have any type of criminal record must be free from any drug or alcohol addiction, and cannot be in any relationship with organized crime.
Locations that are granted a license do not have to worry about time specifications as there is no renewal process required once the license has been granted. The cost to obtain such a license will vary and there are also application and professional fees that will be required when filing for a license.
Japanese Illegal Casinos
There are illegal casinos operating in Japan, and while they are visible and easy to access, they are still operating without legal approval from the government. They usually attract a large number of tourists and they make use of an indirect payment system.
The Yakuza are organizing underground casinos in Japan: in particular, they organize commercial Mahjong tournaments where cash prizes are played. Owners of mahjong establishments often use connections to the yakuza to force the repayment of debts. However, this is not the only source of underground casinos.
The Future of Gambling in Japan
Despite the latest updates and positive shifts in gambling law, land-based casinos will not be operating in Japan until the year 2022. The latest gambling law was approved by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the country's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. Since the Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo in 2020, there will be some revisions to the gambling laws, including:
provisions on tax rates
improvements in the security and regulations
By 2020, three full-fledged casinos in special tourist cities of Yokohama and Osaka may open and begin operating, but the Japanese government raises the question of limiting casino access to local residents if casino legalization at the state level does not occur. If residents are prohibited from visiting these venues, an additional law will be created, which will regulate how residents can engage in land-based gambling.
The laws may restrict local access and only provide gambling and betting options for tourists that are visiting Japan for the Olympic Games.
The location of the gambling resorts will be on a created island located in the Gulf of Osaka, Hokkaido, Yokohama and Nagasaki. Las Vegas Sands Corp, Wynn Resorts and MGM will be the first casino investors.
The reason for the restriction of Japanese residents stems from the beliefs of the Komeito Party (the Clean Government Political Assembly), which has expressed the need to protect the Japanese from the social harm that gambling can bring.
Representatives of the Liberal Democratic Party have suggested setting the entrance fee to these casinos at a high amount. This will be done to serve as a deterrent for low-income groups of the population.
Such restrictions may scare off investors who have already declared their readiness to invest billions of dollars in the creation of the first casinos in Japan. In particular, they fear that if the Japanese are not allowed into the local casinos, the establishments will become unprofitable. According to the experience of the famous pachinko game, it is the Japanese who bring the main income to this business.
This is due to the fact that for tourists it is not so easy to get to Japan and they occupy a very small percentage of the country.
Those who are in favour of land-based casinos would like these establishments to resemble the gambling system now used in Singapore. This type of casino model is considered the most cost-effective for the state and promising for the development of the industry as a whole. Secretary-General of the Cabinet of Ministers of Japan, Yoshihide Suga, states that the legal casinos of the country will attract not only domestic players but also tourists from all over the world.