Betting Sites in Japan

The legal environment of concerning sports betting sites in Japan and gambling has been the matter of a lot of curiousness and discussion. Enveloping with a rich cultural heritage interwoven with modern regulatory challenges, Japan presents an interesting perspective towards the evolution of gambling law. This article attempts to present the current legal status of betting sites in Japan focusing on sports betting, types of allowed and prohibited bets, and laws regulating the areas sector in a clear, brief way.

Betting Sites in Japan
Dafabet SportsUp To £130+ £5 Free BetsRead ReviewVisit Site
BetandyouUp To £120+ £30 Free BetsRead ReviewVisit Site
Megapar SportsUp To £100+ 15% Free BetsRead ReviewVisit Site
188Bet SportsUp To £100+ £50 Free BetsRead ReviewVisit Site

Overview of Japanese Gambling Laws

Japan represents an exciting case of the cross-over of tradition and modernity in the context of gambling laws. From Tokyo as its active capital, this archipelago stretches northeast to the southwest immense into the Pacific Ocean , with four main islands—Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu—plus more than 6,800 smaller islands. The considerable population of its nearly 124. The fact that the active player base of the service reached 43 million as of April 2023 is the most obvious evidence of the considerable market potential of gambling and betting related activities. Although, such businesses were restricted by strict laws in the past.

The Penal Code and Betting.

Article 185 of the Japanese Penal Code (Act No. 45 of April 24, 1907) is the core of Japan’s legal position about gambling, and it states that gambling is subject to fines in general, unless then it belongs to some exceptions.

  • The gambling activity is legal by a particular legislation, and the operator is officially licensed.
  • The gambling business consists of things given for temporary entertainment.

By this provision the cautious attitude of an institution to gambling is manifested allowing for some exceptions within the set conditions.

Gambling Law and Regulation in Japan – 5 Things to Know

Japan’s approach to the regulation of gambling and betting sites is nuanced.

The existing rules permit only three IR areas at most, with a possibility of a review after seven years.

Other IR areas are still in the process of discussions which is a sign of certain development of the sector.

Therefore, the stakeholders are able to have a clearer view of the legal landscape if they study the regulations that are in force today.

This strategy represents Japan’s attempt to achieve the balance between ethical and social considerations as the basis for tourism development.

Special Laws of Betting Sites in Japan

The regulatory landscape is further detailed by specific legislation permitting certain types of gambling under strict regulations:

  • Horse Racing: Regulated under the Horse Racing Act (Act No. 158 of 1948).
  • Bicycle Racing: Gazetted under the Bicycle Racing Act (Act No. 209 of 1948).
  • Auto Racing: Auto Racing Act (Act No. 208 of 1950) as well.
  • Motorboat Racing: Regulated by the Motorboat Racing Act (Act No. 242 of 1951)
  • Sports Betting: Allowing under the Law Relating to Conducting and other Sports Promotion Vote (Law no. 63 of 1998)
  • Land-Based Casinos: Legalized by the Integrated Resort-Related Act (Act No. 80 of July 27, 2018).

The Act on Development of Specified Integrated Resort Districts significantly represents a turning point in the country’s gambling policy, making it possible for private licensed entities to run casinos at predetermined spots. This legislation aims to promote tourism by giving the Integrated Resorts (IRs) the obligation to provide a range of recreational, tourist, accommodation, convention center, and gaming facilities.

The Next of Betting Sites in Japan

The conferencing is still on whether the legal system should or should not be extended to incorporate online sports betting following the legalization of casinos in IRs on land. Though online gambling is of late largely outlawed in Japan, the IRs introduction as well as an increasing interest in the legalization of sports betting suggests potential loosening of such strict regulations in the future.

The Japanese Casino Regulatory Committee (JCRC), established in January 2022 related to the IR legislation, is a major watchdog in the licensing and regulation of the casino industry. The independent body highlights the Japanese’s intention of a controlled and healthy gambling market.

The Present Situation and the Prospects of the Development

With the acceptance of Osaka as the first IR area and deliberations for others in progress, the gambling environment of Japan is set to change drastically. The current regulations limit the IR areas to a maximum of three, and the possibility for a review seven years after initial approvals. This slow but developing method corresponds to the line of fostering tourism-oriented economic development and regulation keeping.


The balanced policy of Japan concerning regulation of gambling and betting sites is an example of its general strategy oriented toward tourism promotion and the resolution of the issues of ethics in its society. Through comprehending the legal situation, stakeholders are capable of understanding the diversity of the subject that the sector to betting and gambling in Japan represents. For sports lovers, as well as prospective investors, Japan’s developing regulations are an absorbing peek into future betting trends that may occur in the country.

Frequently Asked Questions

Scroll to Top