Is It Safe to Play at Overseas Online Casinos in Japan?

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The legal issues regarding the operation of overseas real money casinos in Japan have been discussed by many experts over the years. So, what is the actual situation on the online gambling scene in Japan?  

We need to look at different factors to reach an actual conclusion about the legality of overseas online casinos in the country. Let’s look at all those crucial factors one by one to reach a final verdict on the situation.  

Is Online Gambling Legal in Japan? 

If we can answer in simple words, the answer is ‘yes’. You can gamble online freely in Japan without getting in trouble with the law. In fact, casino games like Keno, Slots, and Bingo have been part of Japanese culture for as long as we can remember.  

Since overseas online casinos and sportsbooks in Japan are legally licensed and regulated by governing bodies located in the Philippines, the United Kingdom, and Malta, it is safe to engage in online gambling activities with overseas gambling platforms! 

Moreover, some foreign online casinos have a good social image and are registered on the Stock Exchange. That already gives enough reason for Japanese players to trust these institutions and log into their platforms from time to time to blow off some steam! 

However, you have to understand that it is legal for Japanese players to play on online gambling sites while residing in Japan. But there are illegal online casinos that operate amidst the legal ones, and the authority warns people about them.  

Having said that, the Japanese legal laws can only affect crimes that have taken place within the borders of Japan, not beyond it. With this being the case, online casinos that have servers located overseas are not subject to the laws of Japan, essentially.  

Is Gambling a Problem in Japan? 

Despite overseas online casinos getting away with making profits from Japanese players, gambling is a big problem in the country. Even though there is no legislation that can prevent the players from using overseas online gambling sites, the government is determined to prevent its citizens from wasting their money on foreign gambling companies.  

In fact, there is a fine line that has been drawn between skill games and luck-based games. The luck-based games are illegal in Japan as they are mostly associated with gambling. Even though gambling itself is illegal in Japan, if the online overseas site is located in a country where it is legal, there is not much the Japanese government can do.   

Furthermore, even though Japanese players are not allowed to place wagers on video poker, online slot, roulette, or blackjack, the law permits them to bet on sports betting online. However, Japanese people think by gambling in foreign online casinos, they can earn some foreign currency and even increase their bitcoin reserve.  

Which Types of Casino Games are Legal in Japan? 

Even though the Japanese government looks down upon major online casino games like blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and poker, some casino games have been a part of Japanese traditional history.  

Toto, lottery, mahjong, pachinko, and bingo are games that the citizens often engage in for entertainment, and there is no law restricting them from these games. These games are played in groups in land-based centers and online platforms without the words ‘illegal’ stamped on them.  

Moreover, Japan doesn’t have its own online sportsbooks yet and has to log into foreign ones to bet on sports, esports, virtual sports, and racing. This makes us think that maybe the government needs to implement proper laws about online gambling in Japan after all!  

Final Thoughts about the Legality of Online Gambling in Japan

After going through the discussions above, we think that the topic of online gambling is quite complex in Japan. These people are allowed to use online sportsbooks but not online casinos.  

As a result, Japanese people have to use their discernment when it comes to online gambling because some sites are illegally operating. Also, their government may not be happy about them throwing their money into foreign gambling companies.  

- Payton O'Brien,

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