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Is It Legal To Gamble In Japan? Are Online Casinos Illegal? Find Out The Answer Here!


For those of you who are interested in online casinos, you may be wondering, “Are online casinos and gambling illegal? Are they legal? Is it safe? I think these are the first questions that come to mind.

In this article, I will explain in detail the legislation of online casinos and gambling in Japan (ギャンブル 日本). As well as everything you should know before playing at online casinos.

Are online casinos considered illegal gambling?

Are online casinos illegal gambling in Japan (ギャンブル 日本)? Online casinos themselves are not illegal gambling.

Why aren’t online casinos themselves illegal? Online casinos are operated in countries where online casinos are legal, and they have obtained a license to operate.

About countries where online casinos are legal

There are about 200 countries in the world that have legalized online casinos. The representative countries are Canada, France, Australia, and Hong Kong, etc. In the same way that casinos are legalized in countries that have land casinos (land-based casinos that can be enjoyed overseas), online casinos are also legalized in many countries.

Now that the casino bill has passed in Japan, there will be land casinos in the country in the future. Then it could be just like any other country where online casinos are legal!

About Online Casino Operating Licenses

A company that operates an online casino must have an “operating license”. How do you obtain this license? The license is issued by the government of the country where the license is issued, and if the license is approved, the company can obtain the license.

Each country (or government) that issues an online casino license has different criteria, but the following are the countries (or governments) that issue reliable online casino licenses.

  • Republic of Malta
  • Curaçao (island)
  • United Kingdom (UK)
  • Gibraltar
  • Isle of Man

These are the countries that issue the most stringent licenses.

If you are thinking, “I want to play at an online casino! If you are thinking “I want to play at an online casino” in the future, it is a good idea to keep in mind which license-issuing country the casino site you are thinking of playing at is licensed to operate in! If you want to play at an online casino, it’s a good idea to keep in mind which country the casino site you’re considering is licensed to operate in!

Is it illegal to play online casinos and gambling in Japan (ギャンブル 日本)?

I hope you have understood that online casinos themselves are not illegal.

The next question is whether it is illegal for Japanese people to play online casinos in Japan? Is it legal? Let’s solve the question!

The answer is “neither illegal nor legal” is the correct interpretation. It’s a so-called “gray zone”.

Why is it a gray area in Japan?

In Japan, the laws regarding online casinos are not yet in place. To put it in an extreme way, the current laws in Japan do not allow us to judge them. That is the current situation.

This makes online casinos a gray area that is neither illegal nor legal.

There are two types of gambling laws in Japan

In Japan, there are two types of laws that regulate gambling

Simple gambling (Article 185 of the Penal Code)

(2) Any person who engages in gambling shall be punished by a fine of not more than 500,000 yen or a civil fine. Provided, however, that this shall not apply when the betting is limited to bets on objects to be used for temporary entertainment.

(2) Habitual gambling and theft of gambling facilities (Article 186 of the Penal Code)

(2) Any person who habitually engages in gambling shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than three years. (3) Any person who opens a gambling hall or joins a group of gamblers for profit shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not less than three months and not more than five years.

However, the above two laws are based on the premise that the purpose of investigating gambling crimes is to arrest the owner of the gambling business, and this is clearly stated in the gambling crime investigation practices of the police.

In other words, it is a prerequisite to arresting the promoter, and without arresting the promoter, the gambling law will not be enacted.

Online casino operators are located overseas, where they can operate legally! In addition, they are fully licensed to operate in that country! Japanese law does not allow us to crack down on online casino operators that are operating legally overseas.

Therefore, even if a player is playing at an online casino in Japan, the player will not be arrested as long as the overseas promoter is not policed.

おすすめ ギャンブル Recommended online casinos with strict licenses, exclusively for Japanese players

GamblingThe recommended casinos listed below are checked by experts for safety, customer service, withdrawal speed, etc., as well as having an official operating license in each country. There are some online casinos in the world whose license is unknown, so please refer to the guidance of a reliable site.

Vera John Casino (ベラジョン )


Country of issue: Curaçao

Possesses a gaming line sense CIL


Vera Jonh Casino (ベラ アンド ジョン) was originally licensed by the Republic of Malta, which is considered to be the strictest, but in 2020 it was changed to a license from Curaçao. The Curaçao license is another strict license, but it seems to have been changed for the purpose of providing a wider range of services.

Verajonh Casino has a wide variety of deposit and withdrawal accounts that allow for easy deposits and withdrawals, and withdrawals are rather fast.

This is an online casino where you will never get bored even if you play for a long time, as there are many Japan-only campaigns.

They’ve also won the Gold Medal at the Special Victory Casino Awards for five years in a row, 2016-2020!

Casino Secret


Country of issue: Malta

Possesses a gaming line sense MGA


Casino Secret is licensed by the Republic of Malta, which is said to be one of the strictest and is operated under strict scrutiny to guarantee safe and fair gaming.

Unfortunately, due to the popularity of Casino Secret with its very competitive cashback and other offers, there have been cases of abuse by players. This kind of fraud has also been discovered through rigorous investigations by game providers and licensees.

Zipang Casino (ジパング カジノ)


Country of issue: Philippines

Possesses gaming line sense GLI


Zipang Casino (カジノジパング) has obtained an online gaming license issued by the government of the Republic of the Philippines. The casino is audited and reported monthly by GLI (Gaming Laboratories International), an external auditing organization, to ensure that the games are always fair.

Casitabi (カジ旅)

Casiitabi is a casino that offers a different kind of fun compared to other online casinos. It’s loaded with casino games that take you on an RPG-like journey as you play them, and the treasures you’ll receive along the way will be filled with free spins, bonuses, and other casino perks!

Is domestic gambling “pachinko and slots” also in the gray zone?


It’s no exaggeration to say that pachinko and slots are the most familiar forms of gambling, but do you know that they are in the “gray zone” where they are neither legal nor illegal?

State-run gambling, such as horse racing, bicycle racing, boat racing, LOTO, and lotteries (I wonder if lotteries can be called gambling…) is completely legal.

However, “pachinko and slots” are not state-run gambling.

The current situation of pachinko and slots is that special prizes are distributed among pachinko parlors, prize exchange offices, and prize wholesalers by creating a loophole in the law.

The pachinko and pachislot parlors that operate so openly are actually operating in the same “gray zone” of the law as online casinos…am I the only one who feels something strange about this?

The position of online casinos and pachinko/slots is the same. I have no problem with that.

What is the future of online casinos?

Currently, there are no laws against online casinos in Japan.

Now that the Casino Bill (IR Bill) has been passed, it is certain that land casinos will be established in Japan in the future. In this context, how will the legislation regarding online casinos progress?

It is our opinion that online casinos will be legalized in the near future.

One of the reasons I think this is the case is that the government may be moving toward legalization in order to secure its financial resources.

In fact, in countries where online casinos are legal, such as Europe, the revenue earned from online casinos is incorporated as a financial source. In the future, Japan may well consider incorporating online casinos into its financial resources, just as Europe does.


I have been explaining the illegality of online casinos, which I wanted everyone to understand first when playing online casinos.

And online casinos are not illegal because they are legally operated overseas! I hope you have understood that.

The problem is Incaji. No matter how many online casinos you play at, it is still illegal to play at an “in-casino” casino, as it is subject to Article 186 of the Penal Code, which applies to habitual gambling and theft of gambling facilities.

If you’re playing in Japan, make sure you’re playing at an online casino site, not an in-casino store!

Even though it is an online casino site, it is important to choose a legitimate online casino because there are no malicious online casinos.

All of the online casinos that we introduce on this site are based on our own research and actual play, and we only introduce casinos that we know are safe and secure.

Frequently Asked Questions about Online Casino Laws

Why are online casinos not illegal?

Online casinos themselves are not considered illegal gambling. This is because online casino operators operate their casinos in countries that legally allow online casino operations. They also have licenses issued by foreign governments. Therefore, it is not illegal for players to enjoy online casinos on their own, even if they are in Japan. Here’s an easy-to-understand explanation of the online casino illegality that concerns you!

Have there been any cases of on-casino arrests?

In March 2016, three players were arrested for simple gambling for “placing bets at an overseas online casino from within Japan”. Most of the players who were searched accepted the summary prosecution (fine) and paid the fines. On the other hand, for those players who did not accept the summary prosecution and showed a willingness to fight in court, the prosecutors dropped the case. In fact, in January 2017, the player won the indictment, and the result confirmed that it is not illegal to play online casinos in Japan.

More on this topic:

Japanese Gambling: A Symbiosis of Tradition and Technology

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