The story of gambling in Japan is one of controversy to say the least. Only a few different forms of gambling are considered legal according to Japanese gambling law and they include: betting on horse, bicycle and power-boat races as well as playing the national lottery.
A grey market that has grown from the “skill game” pachinko is a pretty good indicator that the Japanese are big fans of gambling, but simply don’t have the means to do so. At this point there are 14,700 pachinko parlors located throughout the nation.
Lately the governing bodies within Japan have been taking note of the popularity of Pachinko and playing with the idea of legalizing gambling. These plans or thoughts, however, do not all include the Japanese people.
The economic hard-times that struck the Japanese economy have forced officials to consider things that they wouldn’t usually. At this point, any plans that are forming are centered around the numerous Chinese tourists who venture to Japan regularly. The governments could reap quite a profit by building casinos to attract the same tourists.
Other thoughts being toyed with include the idea that there’s such a huge demand in Japan for gambling that if legislation is passed to approve casinos for the Chinese in Japan, the government might as well legalize it for the locals as well. The profits to be had would obviously be in the high range, and they could be given back to the people.
Up until the point that land-based gambling is legalized for the Japanese, their only hope to do so is through internet gambling in Japan. Because this option has been available for quite some time, it has steadily been growing in popularity.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many online casinos in Japan that offer players functionality in Japanese. This is due to the fact that the government doesn’t license these facilities and those which are accessible are based on foreign soil. Future legislation will hopefully free up both land-based and online gambling.