Is Online Casino Illegal in Japan?


As the online casino industry continues to surge across the globe, more and more players are heading to the internet to enjoy casino games of all types.

In Japan, many people have a strong affinity with gaming of all kinds and plenty of those in the know consider Japan as the spiritual home of gaming. All this makes fertile ground for online casino businesses yet the laws around online casinos in the nation continue to be restrictive and conservative.

With that said, there are some glimmers of light in the legal status of online casinos in Japan, right now such as the proposed Integrated Resorts bill. Head to to find out more about whether online casino illegal in Japan.

In this article, we will take a deep look at the question of whether or not is online casino illegal in Japan.

The legal status of gambling in Japan

At present, gambling remains largely illegal in Japan. The status of gambling has long been based on conservative and traditional social attitudes that look down on playing games of chance for money.

With that being said, there are some grey areas in the nation’s gambling scene that allow games such as pachinko to flourish. Pachinko is essentially a kind of pinball with gambling tossed in and experts think the annual market could be worth over $1 Billion USD in Japan.

On the whole, gambling remains illegal and this is especially true for online casino businesses. It is expressly against the law for online casino businesses to operate inside Japan.

Although bad news for the industry, there are many Japanese players who look abroad to get their online casino fix. As a result of this and wider economic pressures, the Japanese government is now considering relaxing its draconian laws around gambling.

How does the future look for gambling in Japan?

Currently, there is much talk across the Japanese government of the proposed Integrated Resorts Bill. Should the bill be passed, preparations will g ahead for three brand new, state of the art Las Vegas-style resorts across Japan. Based on a hotel casino model, the resorts would serve as gambling hubs for the nation, offering an ‘everything under one roof’ approach.

Whilst controversial for many of the more traditional politicians, most have appeared to back the scheme due to the huge economic impact it would have.

If the IR bill is passed, it would represent a watershed moment for gambling in Japan and could well be the first of many dominoes to fall in the eventual total legalisation of the practice.

Online casino businesses will first hope that the IR bill is passed and, second, that the knock-on effects of such a move would arrive swiftly. Online casinos will also hope that their sector is one of the first to enjoy a relaxation of laws around gambling across Japan more generally.

Overall, online casino can be played in Japan if it is through a foreign site. It remains illegal for online casino sites to operate within Japan. With that said, the proposed IR bill could, if passed, lead a wider-ranging relaxation of gambling laws throughout Japan.

G. Arthur
G. Arthur is part of our editorial staff and writes about the latest online gambling industry news and related articles from around the globe.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here