How Big Is The Japanese Online Gambling Market?

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In online gambling differently, but one country where the market has not been properly tapped is Japan.

Japan has resisted the idea of online gambling for a very long time and they don’t even have a strong land-based casino market. Some form of gambling is organized by the government of the country, but this involves a very limited gambling activity that is restricted to a few numbers of events. 

There has been a lot of deliberations on how the gambling market in the country could be made more liberal, but there has not been any significant headway here. We can even tell you that the online gambling regulation in the country at the moment is a very draconian one, with no room for enthusiasts to freely engage in betting. 

However, we feel like this is all about to change. There seems to be some light over the horizon when it comes to online gambling in Japan, despite it looking like it is far from being completely legal, there are still a lot of new casinos trying to enter the market. during the past couple of years there's been a huge surge in Japanese online casinos, or "onnrainnkajino" as Japanese call them. 

The Online Gambling Scene in Japan 

As at the moment, the government of the country only accepts those types of online gambling activities that are socially acceptable, and here, we are talking about betting on activities like lotteries, and races involving bicycles, motorboats, motorcycles, and horses. Meanwhile, these betting activities are organized and managed by the government, and no private firm can get involved to bring in a competitive market. It is also good to note that they allow these types of bets to be done online, only because they are already enjoyed in land-based betting establishments, so they see the online version as a more convenient way of enjoying them. 

But we all know that making something illegal in a country does not mean that the market for it will die down, and it also does not prevent third parties from finding a way to offer it to customers. According to the government of japan, it is criminal and illegal to host online gambling activities. However, physical borders are not very significant when it comes to the internet, and determined gamblers still find ways to access foreign betting platforms. At the moment, many websites, including, are willing to accept Japanese gamblers, and the government of japan cannot do anything about that, unless they will go after the bettors and not the platforms. The wrath of the government cannot be extended to the operators, but the players may not be as lucky. 

The scene is still hostile for Japanese gamblers. While they face possible punishment from the government of the country, which can charge them for illegal betting on one hand, they also face the risk of betting on platforms that are not regulated in their country, because the platforms are not operating under the watch of any government entity in their country. This leaves those that desire proper online casino gaming and sports betting in the dust, with no organized way to fulfil their desire. 

Legalization - Still Very Far 

When you take a look at the state of the gambling market in Japan, the amount of time it could take before the legalization of online gambling cannot be ascertained for now. The land-based casino scene suffers this problem too. While this writing is being done, there is actually no form of legal betting in japan, the social sports and lotteries betting excluded. The normal process is the development of a very solid land-based casino scene, before progressing to the online version. But no solid land-based casino scene exists in japan. 

It was in the recent past that the government made the only effort at allowing a private institution to handle the land-based gambling venues in the country. There may be some optimism in the plans, but these are still planning, and no serious action has been taken. It is by 2024 that we expect to see the first truly legal gambling halls in the country. That is still 3 years from now, and they’ve not even established the casino supervising commission. 

If this keeps going at this rate, the Japanese online gambling market will remain illegal for a few more years. Meanwhile, the millennials are losing interest in gambling in the traditional manner, and the development of the market may be hindered by this. After considering these factors, the future of the online gambling market in Japan looks completely unpredictable. Operators are actually sad at the present situation, because a properly organized online gambling in Japan is touted to be among the top five in the world if it kicks off.

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