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Features of the gambling market in Japan

It is known that gambling in Japan is prohibited at the state level. There is a corresponding article in the criminal code. But nevertheless, in the country of the Rising Sun it is possible to play several types of bets (mainly sports betting) and take part in lotteries.

Such gambling in Japan is officially considered legal because it brings money directly to the state treasury and is strictly supervised by various government agencies, falling under the jurisdiction of special laws.

The owners of gambling establishments use such a loophole: instead of money the winnings are given as valuable prizes which you can then sell to the same establishment and get away with the cash. The online casino market in Japan is more interesting, which you can find out about at:

In Japan, online casinos are generally considered illegal, but there is no specific law regulating online casino sites legally operated overseas. Online casinos provide various enticing services, including first deposit bonuses, high RTP games, and VIP services, allowing users to win more easily compared to other forms of gambling in Japan. Consequently, despite the legal gray area, many people in Japan find enjoyment in online casinos.

Legal gambling in Japanese is Koei kyogi (public sports)

There are several main varieties of Koei kyogi. Among them: are horse racing – keiba, motorboat racing – kyotei, bicycle racing – keirin, motorcycle racing, and the like. Gambling sports betting is something the Japanese can entertain themselves with without breaking the laws of their country. All betting is controlled by local authorized organizations from the government. Interestingly, up to 80% of the total profit from sports ticket sales and betting is just the value of betting profits.

Pachinko is called a game on a slot machine, the so-called slot, which looks like a vertical pinball. As an exception, pachinko is not officially classified as gambling. Probably the Japanese did it for cultural or historical reasons. Pachinko arcades, operated by private organizations, are common throughout Japan, and more than half of the local population and tourists visit the halls every day.

History of gambling in Japan

Back in ancient Japan, when the laws were particularly strict, the authorities made a curious exception for the then forbidden entertainment. It concerned the gambling games popular at the time – shogi and go.

Gambling was strictly forbidden for the samurai. It was just one of the many restrictions that were used to nurture the samurai spirit in warriors. Japanese card games, including the ancient literary-intellectual card game karuta and all its variants, were also banned. (Later, the same fate temporarily befell the traditional Japanese mahjong-riichi).

Shogi and go, on the other hand, were revered and popular among the samurai. Even special competitions were arranged. There were also special positions among the masters – shogi-dokoro and go-dokoro. They taught these games to the samurai and also determined the champions among them.

It turns out that shogi and go perfectly trained the thinking of warriors and developed the ability to make strategic and tactical plans, just like chess and checkers. Such invaluable benefits for the formation of the personality of a true samurai came to the fore, and the authorities yielded to strict laws in favor of rationality.

Nowadays shogi and go are still played. In addition, virtual versions of these games, popular both among the inhabitants of Japan and in other countries, have appeared.

The current realities of the gambling market in Japan

Nowadays lottery tickets of fortune – takarakuji (takarakuji) are usually sold in small stores in large cities, which conduct the lottery. Lotteries are held on certain days. New Year’s raffle tickets are sold exclusively at the Mizuho Bank.

They are then distributed by resellers. Jumbo Nenmatsu Takarakuji is not the only kind of lottery. But the top prize here could be ten million yen or more. However, the law requires that 50% of the profits from such lotteries be donated to charity and government coffers. Japanese lotteries can be of several types. They are mainly number, number, number variations, and traditional card games. The price of each ticket ranges from 100 to 500 yen.


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