Japan, like many Asian countries, is generally not very kind to the online gambling industry. The Asian nation bans gambling in general, save for a few exceptions. There isn’t much in the way of licenses, land-based casinos or online gambling domains in the country, and this may leave Japanese players in a bit of pickle when it comes to finding out what they can or cannot do. Fortunately, although it sounds complicated, the Japanese gambling laws are relatively easy to break down.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Japan?
First and foremost, the Japanese Criminal Code forbids gambling. However, betting on horse races, pachinko (a national game), mahjong and the national lottery are generally considered acceptable in the Asian country.
There are no land-based casinos, nor are there officially licensed online gambling sites for players to enjoy. As a result of this total shutout of gambling games, many underground gambling venues exist, often linked to criminal groups, although these are shut down almost as soon as they spring up.
From everything we’ve said thus far, Japan sounds like a pretty bleak place to live if you fancy doing a spot of honest gambling. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The Japanese Government does nothing to prohibit access to offshore casinos, nor do they punish Japanese gamblers from playing at those foreign sites.
Japanese Online Casinos
As you may have gathered, there is no such thing as a Japanese online casino, at least not in any legal sense. There are, however, plenty of online casinos which cater to Japanese players, some of them almost exclusively.
These types of sites could be considered to be Japanese casinos, and will often offer gameplay in Japanese. Moreover, they will also provide the yen currency option, and feature a range of payment methods which are popular with players in the island nation. Credit cards are commonly used as the primary payment options, although Japanese players who do bet online often love to use Venus Point as a payment method. A great example of these types of Japanese casino sites is Lucky Niki.
There are other types of offshore casinos which also cater to Japanese players, so let’s have a look at those next.
Offshore Casino Sites for Japanese Players
Japanese players may not always pop along to a Japanese speaking casino, although this ideal. They may decide to venture to a major, mainstream online casino instead. There are plenty of these around which accept players from Japan. They include the most popular websites in the industry. Although they may not be able to offer Japanese players access to their own currency of payment method options – and they will need to speak English in most cases – these sites are hugely appealing to players given the sheer number of games they offer.
Japanese players frequently play at foreign sites because they do not need to fear punishment from the authorities. There have been no recorded cases of players in Japan being punished, nor even of the authorities attempting to clamp down on the international sites catering to those players.
Is Anything Likely to Change in the Future?
Probably not. The Japanese Government seems relaxed about its players wagering at offshore casinos. Because they do not make any moves to legalise or regulate gambling, those politicians who are more traditional and reservist don’t kick up a fuss either. This situation seems to work for Japan, so one wouldn’t imagine that anything will be done to change the status quo at any point in the immediate future.
If something did change in regards to Japanese gambling law, it would likely go one of two ways. The government might decide to legalise gambling (which is unlikely for the reason mentioned above) and issue Japanese gaming licenses to all operators, or just national ones. Alternatively, they might start cracking down on the offshore casinos which cater to Japanese players. This would be unlikely to impress the public, though.
Top Japanese Casino Sites
Players in Japan can choose to play at virtually any online casino in the worth. However, while being at liberty to do so, Japanese players may still wish to find a safe and secure casino, particularly one which caters to their needs. Ideally, a casino would offer them gameplay in their language and currency, with Japanese-friendly payment methods. In short, a casino such as Lucky Niki fits the bill nicely.
Alternatively, there are several other top online casinos which Japanese gamblers may wish to look at. These include Paradise Casino, Cleopatra, Dragonara Casino, Play Frank Casino, Slots Million, Fun Casino, Karamba, and Regent Casino, amongst many more.