Is gambling illegal 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 No Casino Has Been Allowed to Operate on Japanese Soil.

However, it seems that this is about to change. Gambling in Japan has been strictly prohibited and regulated since Chapter 23 of the Penal Code, also known as Law No. 45 of the Penal Code of Japan, explicitly prohibited organized gambling or private sale of lottery tickets, with heavy fines in yen and imprisonment as a deterrent. Before they can do so, Japan will have to lift the ban on gambling, which is currently illegal in most forms.

For legal purposes, pachinko machines are technically considered “games”. Recently, there have been ongoing discussions within the Japanese government regarding the legalization of sports betting in football and baseball. While players wait for the opening of new casinos, they can still enjoy sports betting in Japan. 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. Most forms of gambling are banned in Japan. People who play on sites abroad while on Japanese soil are breaking criminal law, police say.

If you are traveling to Japan, on the contrary, it is unlikely that you want to be sitting at your computer playing games while you are exploring. You don't want to mix with the Yakuza, but that can be difficult because they influence many aspects of the game in Japan. Although there are just under 9,000 Mahjong rooms in the country, it is not part of the list of government-sanctioned games that allow real money gambling. Chapter VII of the Act establishes a strict limitation on the number of times of entry and entry fee to avoid problems with gambling.

Article 186, section 2, of the Penal Code further provides that any person who, for profit, manages a gambling house or organizing a group of regular players shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than three months but not more than five years. These other activities are not explicitly regulated, but could violate other Japanese gambling laws. The government disapproves of gambling addiction and encourages classrooms to refuse to serve those who may have problems with gambling. In Japan Online Casino, players can play the most popular casino game, which is quite entertaining and allows customers to make the most of their gaming process.

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. It would be more accurate to call these casinos gambling houses, since they are much smaller and darker than the larger casinos in Macau. The number of users is reportedly increasing because people are not aware of the illegality and gambling sites are aggressively promoting their services through social media. A 20-year-old man in the Kinki region started betting on the Internet a few years ago to earn extra money.


Makayla Henegan
Makayla Henegan

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

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