Officially it is not considered gambling because Japanese laws consider pachinko as an exception to the criminal code on gambling for historical, monetary and cultural reasons. 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. 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 entering one of these casinos would rarely get you in trouble with the police, you won't have to watch your back any less.
Most forms of gambling are prohibited in Japan. People who play on sites abroad while on Japanese soil are breaking criminal law, police say. Although they are not part of the Japan Racing Association, they are run by local governments on a smaller scale and do offer betting, including OTB and telephone betting. You don't want to mix with the Yakuza, but that can be difficult because they influence many aspects of the game in Japan.
Japanese bettors can bet on races in Japan, as well as select horse races elsewhere. However, they look little like Western casinos, and visitors to gambling halls can only win prizes, not cash. If you want to bet online in Japan, these sites are the best option. Just be sure to check which sites offer support for Japanese language and currency.
The term “bet” is understood as “an act in which more than two people bet on a result of a chance contest to compete for a prize in the form of property or asset”. While the government allows some forms of gambling, casinos and most sports betting remain restricted or limited. Only 41 percent of respondents said they knew online gambling was illegal in Japan, while 41 percent said it fell into a “gray area,” and 18 percent believed it was legal. Licenses are required to operate these forms of gambling activities, which under current legislation are only granted to local governments or government-related entities.
Despised by politicians and feared by the masses, the average Japanese would rather not recognize their existence. The good news, of course, when it comes to Japanese online casinos, is that you don't need to be in Japan to enjoy them. Even simpler, the lottery in Japan is often simply a matter of scratching a ticket, so it basically has nothing to do with it. Today, it is still legal for Japanese residents to bet on the results of events such as motorcycle racing on asphalt track.
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. It is considered that these factors formed the basis for the website to be considered as providing services aimed at Japanese people.