An introduction to Japanese gambling culture

Japan is one of the few countries with restrictions towards gambling. However, players can now enjoy online casino games and choose different payment methods to fund accounts.
Japan is one of the few countries with restrictions towards gambling. However, players can now enjoy online casino games and choose different payment methods to fund accounts.

An introduction to Japanese gambling culture

haps Magazine Korea

Gambling has been around for a long time, serving as a form of recreation. It ranged from different games and evolved over the years. You will find a history of gambling culture in ancient civilizations in many countries, including Rome, Greece, China, etc. While gambling may be prevalent in most Asian countries, Japan was perceived as a country with solid views against gambling.

This fact is true, to some extent. However, there are forms in which citizens could wager on games, add a little skill, and get paid when they win. While this sounds illegal, the operators of these “make-shift” gambling parlors exploited gray areas within the law. With technological advancements, players can now enjoy おすすめ オンライン カジノ from top Japanese operators. These sites are now available on your mobile device, sign up, claim welcome bonuses, play, and win. Some popular Japanese gambling games include Pachinko, horse racing, etc.

The question, is gambling legal in Japan has led to much research on its ancient practices, and since 1907, most popular forms of gambling, including casinos, have been perceived as illegal. Here’s an overview of Japanese gambling.

History of Gambling in Japan

Casinos have been banned in Japan since the beginning of the 20th century. All included games like slots, table games, etc., which is unacceptable in the country to preach more minor addiction. There were exceptions, including motorbike racing, lottery, and sports events. Part of the punishment involved paying hefty fines to prison time for operators of illegal casinos. 

The lottery is operated solely by the government, which makes winning difficult. At the time, the laws stipulated that all prizes awarded to customers must be less than 50% of the total sales, and the remaining diverted to state projects and charities.

Between 2016-2018, the Integrated Resort (“IR”) Promotion Law was passed and implemented, which allocated lands for land-based casinos to licensed operators. However, online casinos have become more prevalent in the country since 2020, and many syndicates still operate low-key offline casinos in secret locations. 

Top Games to Gamble on In Japan

Although casinos are still a form of debate in Japan, there are other games to wager on. Most Japanese citizens now substitute casinos with Pachinko, a popular game based on luck. Don’t be confused; Pachinko is the Japanese version of slot machines. 

It is commonly portrayed in movies, documentaries, and anime. Its setup is likened to a mix of pinball and slot machines. In a twist, almost all Pachinko parlors in Japan have a slot machine, referred to as “Pachislot”. You can easily spot a Pachinko parlor by its characteristically bright-colored buildings. It is the only game that makes up for 40% of the total offline gambling entertainment in the city. 

In addition, it is not regulated by the government and is a low stake. Players at these parlors spent an estimated $200 billion in 2018. The operators of Pachinko venues escaped a visit from law enforcement by paying in vouchers instead of real cash. Players can then redeem prizes with the coupons within the venue. Players must be 18 years old and above to enter a Pachinko parlor. 

Top Payment Methods used in Japanese Gambling

The presence of Japanese online casinos has seen the dwindling revenue of Pachinko venues. Players can now enjoy casino games on internet-enabled devices, and payment methods like astropay card are available for customers. Many relevant iGaming sites are now opening, and top online reviewers like PikachuCasinos and others dissect them, so players will be certain they are playing at verified iGaming sites. Here are some top banking options to choose from. 


Japanese online casinos now accept crypto payments, especially Bitcoin, from customers. Its numerous advantages, including anonymity, instant credit, and fewer fees, are some features you will find. It is not yet widespread, but rising at a dangerous speed. 

Asides from Bitcoin, you will also find Ethereum, Litecoin, USDT, etc., among options to try out. 

Bank Cards (Credit/Debit)

You can also use your bank cards to fund your casino account. Both cards are similar because they require a 16-digit card, EMV, and expiration dates on the body. With a debit card, you can pay directly from your savings card. With a credit card, you’re borrowing within your allowed credit limit. 

Here, players need to enter their relevant financial and personal information before the transfer goes through. Factors like fees and processing times differ from one bank to another. 


These options were built as alternatives to the popular payment method, PayPal. Currently, they have now become independent and trustworthy payment platforms for Japanese casino players. Both payment types are operated by one company, with many customers choosing Neteller. 

Using this method, you don’t need to provide such personal information to the online casino before proceeding to fund your account. 


PayPal is another globally recognized payment option. However, its use in most Japanese casinos is reducing because of restrictions on gambling-related payments in Asia. PayPal is one of the most used e-wallets, with a small fee for both deposits and withdrawals. 

Customers at Japanese online casinos who use PayPal can withdraw cash wins from their accounts within 24 hours. 

When making a deposit to an online casino in Japan, you don’t need to convert your funds to the local currency, Yen. The operators do not accept this currency and allow players to deposit with US Dollars. All funds displayed on casino accounts are in USD.

Laws Regulating Gambling in Japan

The Japanese gambling laws currently revolve around the Integrated Resort (“IR”) Promotion Law which was passed in July 2018, allowing licensed land-based gambling venues in particular sites. Although the first land-based site is expected from 2025, here are some sports which are regarded under the Penal code. 

Under Article 185, the following events are allowed to operate under specified laws.

  • The lottery, operated by government agencies
  • Football pools
  • Public sports: powerboat, horse, bicycle, and motorcycle racing. These events are also managed by separate government corporations. 

According to Article 186 of the same Penal code, there are stipulated punishments for persons who run unlicensed gambling pools. The terms include prison time of not less than 3 months and not more than 5 years. The context under the Article regards the pools as a location where gambling occurs or where two or more players are gathered.

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