Japan is known all around the globe for its unique culture, incredible efficiency and high speed when it comes to public transport and profound respect in every aspect of life. Of course, the list can go on with the Samurai, sushi and the incredible Mount Fuji. From a sporting perspective, besides martial arts and contact sports, Japanese athletes are known for their great results in figure skating, badminton and table tennis among others. Football is also a big phenomenon in Japan with players like David Villa playing in the J-League and well-known players like Nakata, Nakamura, and Kagawa having plied their trade in Europe. Other games of chance have been a part of Japanese culture like pachinko and pachislot being around for quite some time now, as modern online betting isn’t that well-received by the Nipon authorities. For betting sites, Japan isn’t exactly the fertile ground that many picture when referring to other domains. Sports betting is only legal on the domestic football league, horse racing motorbike, and motorboat racing for now. It can either be done directly at the track or online on government betting sites in Japanese. However, the economic situation of Japan may open the door to a major change in the gambling laws and regulation of the Nipon online betting and gambling market.
Traditionally, betting and gambling in various forms were intertwined in Japan’s day to day life. However, when talking about the modern version of betting and gambling, the authorities are quite strict. According to 23rd chapter of the Japanese Criminal Code, most forms of gambling are banned so even the top betting sites in Japan don’t have an easy life. The only exceptions to the betting ban are horse racing, bicycle racing, powerboat racing, and asphalt speedway motorcycle racing and these are available at bookies directly at the track or online at Japan betting companies approved by the state.
Betting on the local J-League is also allowed through J-League Soccer Pools, however, the odds and services are not competitive compared to what other football betting sites in Japan can offer. For such a technologically-advanced nation, Japan did not turn to any measures to block access to foreign bookmakers so Japanese punters are choosing to enjoy their better odds and more-diverse betting offer. However, since the government is analyzing new methods of increasing the country’s income, talks about legalizing online betting and gambling altogether have been rumored to take place. Japan betting laws have already seen some alterations to allow the approval for a series of land-based casino venues in the country, so the future could bring good things for the online betting landscape as well.
Since the quality of local betting sites isn’t excellent, all Nippon bookmakers that want to present themselves as a viable alternative should tick all of the following boxes. First of all, delivering high odds is a must since that’s where the value is and compared to the local Japan bookmakers, a punter can significantly increase profit using the same stakes if the odds are better. Japanese punters are huge fans of football and because the Japanese bookmakers only allow them to bet on the J-league, any bookie offering the big European leagues like the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga or Serie A will instantly enjoy a lot of attention. Another aspect that can definitely set good sports betting sites in Japan apart is the offer of horse racing and racing events they offer. There’s no secret that punters in Japan are big for speed boat racing any other forms of motorsport so all betting sites available in Japan should make sure to cover these markets generously.
Last, but definitely not least, creating a welcoming and familiar environment for Japanese punters is always a good move betting sites for Japan can make. This can be achieved by offering JPY currency for deposits and bets, as well as translating the website and offering customer support in the local language.
The laws currently in place do not specify any kind of restrictions for Japanese punters enjoying online bookmakers situated in other countries. Considering that the football betting sites in Japan are not doing a great job, these are welcoming news. Therefore, punters are free to join any of the betting sites that work in Japan and accept them with no risks whatsoever. Combined with the insufficient betting services delivered by legal betting sites in Japan, international bookmakers are thriving in the area. Even if a website can’t be accessed directly, a VPN software is the best solution in most cases.
Since the Japanese authorities are just starting to consider online betting and gambling as a possibility, there aren’t any local payment options designed specifically for bookmakers in Japan. However, punters have access to all the big ewallets out there and it looks like this is the preferred method of payment for most of them. Taking into consideration the instant deposits, lack of fees and the possibility to use them as withdrawal methods, ewallets are the most popular payment option for betting sites legal in Japan. Of course, this doesn’t rule out other payment options like credit and debit cards that are also often used with VISA, JCB, and MasterCard being at the top.
Legally, there are no betting exchanges among Japan betting sites. However, with no obstacles for Japanese punters accessing international betting sites, these are free to access all the biggest betting exchanges as well. As long as the betting exchange accepts players from Japan, punters can enjoy their high odds and amazing services, just like they do with all the other Japan online betting sites. It won’t hurt to have a VPN handy just in case there are restrictions towards Japanese punters put in place by exchanges like Betfair, Smarkets or Betdaq.
When playing at one of the government-approved websites, any complaint should be directed towards the government agency dealing with betting. Otherwise, when playing at an international bookmaker, contacting the authority that issued the license is the best way to go. Alternatively, you can let us know of any trouble you run into with a bookmaker and we’re going to do our best to help you out.