Are casinos banned in Japan?

Operating casinos is still illegal in Japan, and recent baseball sports betting by sumo wrestlers has caused a scandal. Most gambling is illegal in Japan, but there are exceptions. Betting on some sports such as horse racing and certain motorsports is allowed, and football pools known as “toto” and lottery are allowed by special laws. Japan's Strict Gambling Regulations and Laws Mean No Casino Has Been Allowed to Operate on Japanese Soil.

However, it seems that this is about to change. Online gambling remains illegal even after the IR Implementation Act came into effect. However, recently there have been ongoing discussions within the Japanese government regarding the legalization of sports betting in football and baseball. See questions 1, 1 and 3, 1 above.

Officially speaking, gambling in Japan has been illegal since 1907, near the end of the Meiji era. During this time, of course, many “unofficial casinos” have appeared in Tokyo and outside the capital, largely managed or connected to the Yakuza, a notorious criminal organization in Japan. While walking into one of these casinos would rarely get you in trouble with the police, you won't have to watch your back less. Gambling has been a taboo subject in Japanese society and, since 1907, most forms of gambling, including casinos, have been illegal.

However, there are many forms of legal gambling in Japan, such as Pachinko, Lottery and certain types of sports betting. The global health pandemic of Covid-19 caused efforts to bring live casinos to the country to slow down. Since the casino operation to be carried out within the IR will be excluded from the general gambling ban, persons and entities participating in the IR operation will be subject to strict regulation. So keep reading to find out about the new casino bill, sports betting options and the Japanese lottery.

Upon completion of the construction of the relevant casino facility, the licensed commercial casino operator shall submit to the Commission a request for inspection of the casino-related equipment, tools, software and recording media, including such software, and may not initiate operation of the casino facility until it has passed this inspection. It had to be detailed because many Japanese citizens are still concerned about the possibility of casino games becoming widespread. Only one casino facility can be opened within an IR area and the maximum area of casino activity will be regulated by a Cabinet Order (i). If the certification of the implementation plan of the relevant IR area is revoked or if the license of the relevant casino facility provider is revoked or invalid, then the license of the casino business will also be automatically revoked.

Online gambling is illegal in Japan, although players can easily avoid it by using online casinos abroad with servers hosted in other countries. It has been estimated that if Japan had legalized casino gaming, it could be the second largest country in the world. In addition to casinos and sports betting options, there are other forms of legal gambling in Japan. In addition, considering that money lending could accelerate gambling problems, access to money lending is only available to (a) customers who have the financial ability to deposit with the casino business operator cash in excess of 10 million yen, and (b) non-resident foreign customers.

While the government allows some forms of gambling, casinos and most sports betting remain restricted or limited. According to Chapter XXIII of the Penal Code of Japan, gambling is generally subject to a widespread prohibition, with heavy fines and even prison sentences for persons who break the law. One reason why pachinko is so prevalent is that it is one of the only games of chance you can play without having problems with Japan's casino laws. .

Makayla Henegan
Makayla Henegan

Typical gamer. Hardcore twitter ninja. Unapologetic food ninja. Amateur tv geek. Avid social media nerd.

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