Regulatory frameworks for online gambling in Japan
Gambling is legal in Japan only for skill games and luck-based ones. The games of chances are illegal. There are about 20,000 gambling halls in the country.
The Japanese Diet passed the Bill in 2016 promoting the implementation of Integrated Resort Areas. The Bill focuses on the legalisation of casino facilities across Japan. The current law related to gambling stems from the start of the 20th century and does not correspond to the demands of modern life.
Gambling is prohibited in Japan based on Article 185 of the Penal Code. According to this article, not every segment of a game should be determined by chance or accident.
The opening of a gambling house for unlicensed games of chance in Japanese territory is prohibited. The public lottery and Soccer Pools are not restricted at the moment. Everyone who wishes to operate allowed activities needs a license. To date, the government issued licenses to the following providers: Horse racing, lottery, Pachinko and bicycle racing.
Horse racing is operated by the Japan Racing Association. There are 24 non-JRA tracks operated in the government. Lottery is run by Toto. Pachinko is not managed by government but is very popular.
There are legalised gambling forms in Japan based on chance alone. Online casinos are operated by foreign providers. They are not subject to Japanese law. Mobile gaming is also prohibited across the country. If you decide to visit one of the international betting operators, you should know how to recognise illegal casinos.
There are no regulations for online gambling in Japan. Online casinos operating on overseas servers cannot be controlled by Japanese law.
There are steps toward legalising the entire gambling industry in Japan. The number of people interested in local casinos is increasing. Japan has a great gambling market around Pachinko and will get its IR (integrated resort) casino.