Can you play gambling games in Japan?

Most forms of gambling in Japan are generally prohibited by Chapter 23 of the Criminal Code; however, there are several exceptions, including betting on horse racing and certain motorsports. 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 that no casino has been allowed to operate on Japanese soil.

However, that seems to be about to change. Recently, there have been ongoing discussions within the Japanese government regarding the legalization of sports betting in football and baseball. The most important game sport in Japan is probably horse racing. Here it is a realistic issue, with the focus more on betting than on the ornaments of the “sport of kings” that horse racing tends to enjoy in other countries.

Aspiring winners can even attend classes on how to bet on races. “The term “" managing a place to play "” is understood to mean providing, as a host, a certain place to bet that is under the control of the host.” The government disapproves of gambling addiction and encourages classrooms to refuse to serve those who may have problems with gambling. Since the casino operation that would be carried out within the IR will be excluded from the general gambling ban, individuals and entities participating in the IR operation will be subject to strict regulation. Keirin is a type of bicycle race and was an exclusively Japanese form of play until the recent opening of the Keirin velodromes in Korea.

Given the lack of regulated gambling sites in the country, these (unregulated) rock, paper or scissors sites really took off. The Criminal Code has a certain exclusion stating that gambling will not constitute a violation of the Criminal Code, if the “article being bet is that of momentary fun”. However, they look little like Western casinos, and visitors to gambling halls can only win prizes, not cash. Due to its popularity and history in Japanese culture, Pachinko is a game that has been given an exception due to existing gambling laws.

With thousands of pachinko parlors available throughout the state, this game is the dominant form of Japanese gaming. Lottery Probably the easiest way to enjoy gambling in many countries, including Japan, is through lotteries. Debts derived from illegal gambling are not enforceable because they violate public order and good morals, a general rule of the Civil Code. In this context, article 185 of the Penal Code provides that a person who gambles shall be punished by a fine or a lesser fine of not more than 500,000 yen, unless the item placed in the bet is of momentary amusement.

If you visit the Land of the Rising Sun, you may have trouble figuring out what you are allowed to bet on.

Makayla Henegan
Makayla Henegan

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

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