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Main Differences Between Online Casinos and Physical Gambling in Japan

Main Differences Between Online Casinos and Physical Gambling in Japan
Image by Sofia Terzoni from Pixabay

Gambling is a popular pastime in Japan, but some key differences exist between playing casino games online and visiting a physical gambling establishment. So, this post will discuss the main differences between these two types of gambling in Japan. Keep in mind that we are only discussing the legal situation here – many people enjoy gambling illegally, which is outside the scope of this article. Thanks for reading!

Are Online Casinos Legal in Japan? 

One of the biggest questions that many Japanese gambling lovers have is whether or not online casinos are legal in Japan, and this is a difficult question to answer with a simple yes or no. In the grand scheme of things, no real legislation covers online gambling in Japan. However, that doesn’t mean it is legal, just that it’s accessible. 

Overall, the laws focus more on gambling operators within Japan, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that players are safe. Gambling as a whole, aside from legalized gambling activities, is considered to be illegal. 

So, for players, gambling at an international online casino would also be considered illegal, and the Prime Minister of Japan was quoted as saying, “In the event a portion of the act of gambling is taking place within Japan, it constitutes a gambling crime.”. This basically means that even if the online casino isn’t based in Japan, if the player is, it’s illegal. 

Are Physical Casinos Legal in Japan?

The next question many people have is, “are physical casinos legal in Japan, and what are the differences between online casinos?” The answer to that question would be no; physical casinos are not allowed in Japan, even though a recent Act was passed in 2018 that essentially legalized gambling within certain designated areas by licensed private entities. 

So, what exactly does this mean? This means that Japan is planning integrated resorts. These resorts would have many amenities, such as shopping malls, restaurants, theatres, a hotel, and of course, casinos. 

How would these casinos differ from online casinos? Well, the difference between land casinos and online casinos in Japan is the fact that for Japanese citizens, it would be highly monitored since there are many policies in place to combat addiction. 

More importantly, online casinos allow players to play from the comfort of their homes, change their game with a click of a button, and access many different welcome bonuses. In addition, online casinos allow Japanese players to save money on petrol costs since no traveling is involved, and they can play at any time. The only difficulty is online gambling is technically illegal, but many players use VPNs to avoid being caught. 

What Forms of Gambling are Legal? 

Now that you have a good idea about the differences between online casinos and physical gambling venues in Japan, you might be curious about what type of gambling is legal in Japan. The answer to that question is that many different forms of gambling are actually legal in Japan. 

  • Horse Racing: One of the most popular forms of gambling in Japan is horse race betting, and the industry is quite big. However, since the government is trying to curb gambling addiction, the quality of the horses isn’t as professional as in other countries worldwide. At the time of this article, there were about 25 horse racing tracks in Japan. 
  • Motor Cycle Racing: Motorcycle racing is another popular form of gambling in Japan. Racers that compete in this event have to drive around an oval track for six laps, with the track being 500m. Usually, only eight racers compete at a time. 
  • Pachinko: Pachinko is probably the most popular of all forms of gambling in Japan. Japan has around 8.46 thousand pachinko parlors and about 2.43 million pachinko machines. Surprisingly, this number has actually dropped quite a bit, most likely due to many of the pachinko gamblers trying out internal online casinos and playing slots since it is the closest game to pachinko. 

Featured Image by Sofia Terzoni from Pixabay