日本でのギャンブル - Gambling in Japan
The laws regarding gambling in Japan are very strict and only a few forms of gambling are currently legal. Since 1907, the only allowed forms of gambling are betting on horse, bicycle, motorboat, and motorcycle racing. Some games, such as mahjong, pachinko, and the lottery are also legal to play for money, since these are considered to be amusements. All other gambling, including online poker and internet casino style games, is illegal in Japan. Players often travel to Macau to gamble at casinos there.
Japan's lottery is very old, and has been around since 1630. Even the lottery was banned for a while starting in 1842. Then in 1945, at the end of World War II, the national lottery was reinstated. It was thought that the revenues made from the lottery would help the rebuilding efforts. When Japan's cities were rebuilt the government decided to keep the lottery intact.
A bill to be submitted in April 2013 with the aim to legalize brick-and-mortar casinos has broad political support. Football betting legalization is also on the medium term agenda.
Online Gambling in Japan
Online gambling in Japan is limited to lottery, soccer toto and betting on 4 selected sports. Only pari-mutuel betting is allowed. Moreover, the Japanese government does not grant licenses to operate internet gambling websites in the country, and it would like to keep Japanese players from accessing and using foreign internet gambling websites as well. But like most places in the world, players gamble online anyway.
The fact that there are online gambling websites targeting Japanese players that are hosted in other countries makes it hard for the government to control what is going on, because they have no jurisdiction in the places where the sites are located. Players in Japan can use these sites freely. It is best not to play in public venues like internet cafes. Instead, players should use their home computers to access internet gambling websites.