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 that no casino has been allowed to operate on Japanese soil.
However, that seems to be about to change. TOKYO Japan legalized casino gaming and paved the way for three casino resorts, giving companies like Las Vegas Sands Corp. and MGM Resorts International their first chance to open in the country. Gambling in Japan has been strictly prohibited and regulated since Chapter 23 of the Penal Code, also known as Law No.
45 of the Japanese Penal Code, explicitly prohibited organized gambling or the 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”. An eventual legalization in the country will also help Japan to consolidate its growth after years of financial depression.
It has been estimated that if Japan had legalized casino gaming, it could be the second largest country in the world. The Japanese Government also believes that, if passed, the casino bill would be useful to the country by helping it find better economic stability. Unfortunately, it seems that the process of licensing casino corporations and opening them will take almost the same amount of time. However, at present, the proposals are that casinos only cater to foreign guests and locals cannot visit them.
If the certification of the implementation plan of the relevant IR area is revoked, or if the license of the relevant casino service provider is revoked or invalid, the license of the casino business will also be automatically revoked. Las Vegas Sands initially expressed interest in operating a casino in any of the three Japanese cities. In addition to traditional casino games, Mahjong can be played for money and many mahjong halls have ties to the Yakuza to help collect debts from players who fail to meet payments. The bill aims to legalize casino facilities on the territory of Japan, which are currently prohibited by the country's laws.
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. For example, once the government and citizens see that regulated casinos can generate revenues without causing an increase in gambling addiction, Japan is likely to create laws on online casinos. Online casinos have become very popular all over the world, and Japan could make huge amounts of money from their legalization. Debts derived from illegal gambling are not enforceable because they violate public order and good morals, a general rule of the Civil Code.
So keep reading to find out about the new casino bill, sports betting options and the Japanese lottery.