Navigating the Legal Landscape of Online Gambling in Japan

Online gambling, a practice that allows individuals to wager real money on games of chance and skill over the internet, has seen a worldwide surge in popularity over the last decade.

It is the same in Japan as well, and their momentum has accelerated in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. Many online casinos such as Yuugado and Casitabi are started to operate their service in Japan and the number of operators is increasing. However, in Japan, online casinos are still in a legal gray zone and it is not clearly legal. In this article, we will delve deeper into the legal position of online casinos in Japan and the legalization of land casinos.

History of Gambling Laws in Japan

Gambling has a long and complicated history in Japan, mostly marked by strong regulations and prohibitions. These regulations are the result of cultural concern in safeguarding residents from the possible negative consequences of gambling, such as addiction and financial ruin. Most kinds of gambling are currently prohibited by law, but certain exceptions, such as betting on public sports, lotteries, and the uniquely Japanese game of Pachinko, are authorized.

Understanding the Current Legal Landscape of Online Gambling

Online gambling falls under a legal gray area in Japan. The law does not explicitly state the legality or illegality of online casinos based outside of Japan, leading to ambiguity. The widespread consensus is that online gambling is illegal since it is covered by current gambling regulations. However, the law only applies if both the players and the casino operator are located in Japan.

The Introduction of Integrated Resorts (IR)

In a significant shift, Japan passed the Integrated Resort (IR) law in 2018. This law allows for the establishment of integrated resorts with casinos in selected areas. While the law primarily pertains to land-based casinos, it reflects a changing attitude towards gambling and may hint at a future where online platforms are legally recognized and regulated.

The Future of Online Gambling Laws in Japan

Japan’s legal landscape concerning online gambling could potentially undergo significant changes in the future. With the introduction of Integrated Resorts and a general global shift towards regulation rather than prohibition, Japan might also move in this direction. While it’s impossible to predict with certainty, the increasingly digital and global nature of society could prompt a rethink of current policies.


Navigating the legal landscape of online gambling in Japan can be a complex task.  With most kinds of gambling illegal, but certain exceptions and ambiguities, a comprehensive understanding of the law is vital. As Japan investigates new kinds of regulated gambling, the scene may change in the future. Until then, anyone engaged in online gambling should be fully aware of the potential legal repercussions and keep within the boundaries of the law.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. It is always recommended to consult with a qualified legal professional in your jurisdiction for advice.

Cheryl Henson

Cheryl Henson is a passionate blogger and digital marketing professional who loves writing, reading, and sharing blogs on various topics.

Related Articles

Back to top button