Betting Sites in Japan

Japan is an arc-shaped island country located on the west coast of the Pacific Ocean, extending from northeast to southwest, including four large islands: These include Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu. Nevertheless, it is quite complicated to comprehend the features of betting sites in Japan and the rules of sports betting in the country. This blog post is designed to help you get started with Japan’s sports betting, including some history and regulation as well as the top betting sites in Japan to bet on sports.

Betting Sites in Japan

Table of Contents

1907: Gambling is unlawful and is forbidden under the penal code.

1948-1951: The legalizing of betting in most races.

1998: Proposal of sports promotion votes

2016-2018: The Implementation of IR laws

2023: Japan okays first integrated resort to house gambling

The Current State of Gambling Laws in Japan

Early Beginnings

As is the case with most countries, the activity of gambling has a long-standing tradition in Japan. Other types of gambling like pachinko and lotteries have been existing in Japan for a very long time. Nonetheless, the formation of contemporary gambling laws started as early as the early twentieth century.

Key Legislation Milestones

  • 1907: Penal code of the country outlaws most of the gambling activities.
  • 1948: Horse racing act allows one to place a bet on a horse race.
  • 1950: Auto Racing Act allows one to place a bet on motor race.

Recent Developments

The major turning point could be associated with the adoption of the Integrated Resort Promotion Law in 2016 and the IR Implementation Law in 2018 which enabled land-based casinos in Japan.

Regulatory Bodies of Betting Sites in Japan

Japan’s gambling landscape is regulated by multiple agencies, each overseeing different aspects of the industry:

  • 1. Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries: Is in charge of horse racing.
  • 2. Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry: Specialises in bicycle and auto racing.
  • 3. Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism: Concerns motorboat racing and land based casinos.
  • 4. Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology: Responsible for overseeing the sport betting.

Prohibited and Permitted Bets

While Japan has stringent gambling laws, certain forms of betting are allowed:

Permitted Bets

  • Horse Racing: Legal since 1948.
  • Motorboat Racing: Established in 1951 it was.
  • Bicycle Racing: Established in 1948 and thus, regulated.
  • Auto Racing: Allowed since 1950.
  • Lotteries: Lotteries are allowed under the Takarakuji law and local governments can hold them.
  • Public Sports Betting: Such as Toto which is also included in the limited forms.

Prohibited Bets

  • Online Casinos: Still, it is unlawful if conducted within the geographical location of Japan.
  • Unlicensed Sports Betting: It is against the law to place a bet on any form of sports other than the authorized ones.

Gambling Licenses and Fees

To operate legally, gambling establishments must obtain appropriate licenses and comply with fee structures:

  • Casino License: Charged for Integrated Resorts with a floating national tax on Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) at 15%.
  • Entrance Fees: The entrance fee is National fee: 3,000 yen and Municipal fee 3000 yen.

Japan Sports Betting Sites in Japan Overview

Sports betting in Japan is growing and there is more and more talk about legalizing more types of sports betting. At the present, the only types of sports one can place a bet on include horse racing, bicycle racing, motorboat racing, and auto racing. The legalization of more sports betting could also affect the market massively.

Best Betting Sites in Japan that You Can Use

Several reputable betting sites cater to Japanese users, offering diverse options:


1xbet is very welcoming to its customers with a 100% bonus of up to £100 and they have a wide variety of sports to choose from namely football, tennis, and horse racing. It is really a perfect place for the newbies and also for those who are already into betting.

Up To £100 Visit Site


Dafabet offers a nice bonus of 130$ for newcomers and offers a vast selection of sporting events, so that everyone will find something to their liking.

Up To £130 + £5 Free Bets Visit Site


Having a bonus of up to £122, 22Bet is an ideal bookmaker that offers high odds and an easy to use website for the players.

Up to £122 Visit Site

Shining Moment in Japanese Sports

Japan has hosted several significant sports events that have boosted its profile on the global stage:

  • 1964 Tokyo Olympics: It signified the first time that Japan would be hosting an Olympic event.
  • 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics: First Olympic Games of the Winter held in Asia.
  • 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics: Another added to the list of already known facts that Japan is a wonderful host country.
  • 2002 FIFA World Cup: Together with South Korea, Japan will present the country’s love for football.
  • 2020 Tokyo Olympics: It was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak but it ensured Japan’s focus on sports.

Celebrating Japanese Sports Stars

Japan boasts numerous sports stars who have gained international acclaim:

  • Ichiro Suzuki: One of the most famous baseball players in Japan as well as in Major League Baseball (MLB).
  • Naomi Osaka: An international tennis player, famous for winning many Grand Slam titles and also an activist for women’s right.
  • Hidetoshi Nakata: An innovator who represented some of Europe’s best leagues and who paved the way for other Japanese players.

Gambling Law Framework in Neighboring Countries

Japan’s strict gambling laws are unique, but it’s insightful to compare them with those of its neighbors:

  • South Korea: Gambling is prohibited; however, foreigners are allowed to gamble in certain casinos.
  • China: While gambling is generally not allowed in mainland China, there is an exception for Macau which is one of the world’s biggest gambling centers.
  • Philippines: The Philippines is more lenient as there are many licensed casinos and other forms of online gambling allowed.


The market of sports betting in Japan can be characterized as rather dynamic and evolving. Understanding this environment is important since it has a history, has rather strict regulations, and there is a possibility that the situation with betting sites in Japan may develop in the future. It is always a good idea to know the guidelines and what is out there even if you are an expert or a novice.

FAQ on Betting Sites in Japan

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