Your Ultimate Guide to Online Casinos in Japan 2023
If you’re looking for the best online casino Japan can offer, bear in mind that there are no domestic sites available for players in the country – though they can freely play at international casinos. To help you out, we’ve prepared a guide that lists the best online casinos available to Japanese players, as well as all the important casino attributes that ensure the best possible experience.
- Best Online Casinos Japan
- Introduction to Online Casinos Japan
- How To Identify the Best Online Casino Japan Can Offer
- The Importance of a Reputable Gaming Licence
- Casino Security at Japanese Online Casinos
- Bonuses at the Best Online Casino Japan
- Favourite Online Japanese Casino Games
- Deposit Options for Online Casinos Japan
- Japanese Language and Customer Support
- Mobile Betting at Online Japanese Casino Sites
- Game Developers at Casino Sites Available in Japan
- Land-Based Japanese Casinos
- The Best Online Casinos in Japan – Summary
- Best Online Casino Japan FAQs
Best Online Casinos Japan
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Introduction to Online Casinos Japan
In the so-called Land of the Rising Sun, gambling has been illegal since 1907, towards the end of the Meiji era. Today, there are only a few exceptions, with virtually all forms of betting activities remaining forbidden under the Japanese Penal Code.
Historically, the 1907 ban led to many underground gambling dens, which were run by criminals from the Yakuza. In fact, the name Yakuza means “8-9-3”, which is the lowest hand in Oicho-Kabu, a form of blackjack. Other illegal games include sic bo and Mahjong.
Thanks to Japan online casino laws, there are no land-based or online casinos in Japan. Nevertheless, local governments are not interested in offshore gambling entities, and certainly don’t go as far as some other Asian countries in banning them at an IP level. To that end, all Japanese players can play on international online casinos without having to face any form of penalty.
A Brief History of Gambling in Japan
Though the Japanese have been gambling on and off since the time of Emperor Temmu in 685, it wasn’t until the Portuguese brought playing cards to Japan in 1543 that more Western-style games took off.
Going back to the Edo Period (1603-1868), Japanese gamblers were literally in a class of their own. Japanese society recognised people from the Warrior class (Samurai), the Farmer class, the Artisans, the Merchants, the Thieves (Tekiya), and the Gamblers (Bakuto).
However, there’s a big pushback from other political parties and the general public. This is mainly due to the prevalence of problem gambling, with an estimate suggesting that 3.6% of the Japanese adult population have experienced some form of gambling addiction.
To pacify the nay-sayers, the government plans that these new casino resorts would only offer free entry to foreigners, with Japanese players having to pay an entrance fee of ¥600 (approx. $5). They would also be limited to just 3 visits per week and a total of 10 per month.
How To Identify the Best Online Casino Japan Can Offer
Currently, the best option for players in the country in terms of security, safety, bonuses, and security are undoubtedly Japan online casinos based internationally.
If you want to find the top casino site available to Japan, you will have to do a little research. We’ve done all the heavy lifting for you in that we’ve ticked off all the boxes regarding bonuses, online casino security, mobile compatibility, games libraries, payment methods and customer support. All you have to do is carry on reading!
Welcomes Japanese Players
Each of the best online casinos in Japan in our top 10 online casinos list is only too happy to welcome players from the country. In fact, many will offer websites written in a mixture of Katakana and Hiragana, along with live support in Japanese.
Great Bonus Offers
It’s always a good idea to have the best bonus offers available, as this can seriously help make your casino bankroll strategy stretch even further. All of our recommended online casino sites offer the best bonuses on the web.
Massive Games Selection
There’s no point in signing up to the best online casino in Japan only to discover it doesn't offer your favourite games. The chances of this happening with any sites on our recommended list, however, is remote. All offer a wide variety of casino games, as well as their many variations. What’s more, many table games can be played with live dealers.
Convenient and Fast Payment Options
It’s important that when you want to play, you can transfer funds and start playing instantly, rather than at the casino's convenience. Keep in mind that not all payment systems will process transactions at the same speed or within the same time frame. Therefore, when choosing a casino for yourself, check out what kind of payment services that the site in question accepts, and whether you'd prefer to use an e-wallet or prepaid card as opposed to, say, bank transfers.
Excellent Customer Support
As previously mentioned, you’ll find that many casino sites accessible from Japan will offer customer support in the Japanese language. This makes dealing with any problems or issues so much easier, especially if the service is available 24/7.
The Importance of a Reputable Gaming Licence
With no domestically licensed online casinos available in Japan, you will be looking at casinos with an international licence. We only recommend websites with a gaming licence issued by a reputable gaming authority, which is a strong indicator that the website is trustworthy. Examples of such authorities would be the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority.
Casino Security at Japanese Online Casinos
We suggest that you scroll down to the bottom of your chosen casino website and look out for the following:
- A valid gambling licence (with the licence number and regulatory authority)
- The operator’s address
- Technical security certificates (SSL)
- Test lab certificates (such as eCOGRA)
- Player protection (responsible gambling tools) for problem gamblers
These elements are usually signifiers of a high-quality and secure casino, so do keep an eye out for them!
Bonuses at the Best Online Casino Japan
All the best online casinos in Japan will give out tasty bonuses as a way of thanking new players for signing up, or as a reward for existing players and their continued custom. Below are some of the more commonly available options:
As a newly registered player, you’ll find that the welcome casino bonus trumps all others when it comes to what is on offer. Typically, you’ll instantly double your initial bankroll through what’s known as a match bonus. These will generally match your deposit with 100% in bonus funds or more!
With slots as popular as they are among players, it’s not surprising that all online casinos will offer free spins bonuses, usually in conjunction with the initial welcome bonus. Take note of any T&Cs, as they may only be playable on just a few slots titles.
Many reload bonuses will come in the form of a bonus matched to your second or third deposit. They may also come in the form of cashback offers or loyalty points. Though not as generous as the welcome bonus, they can nevertheless make a huge difference to your overall gaming experience.
At first glance, some of these bonuses may look like free money, but you’ll generally find that certain terms apply. The most common restriction is going to be bonus wagering requirements, which refer to how many times you'll need to wager the bonus amount before withdrawing any winnings.
Favourite Online Japanese Casino Games
Every online casino in Japan listed above will offer you a broad choice of casino products, ranging from slots to table games. We've compiled some of what you'll find below!
Without a doubt, real-money slots are by far and away the most popular casino game, and these days are also perfectly optimised for your mobile devices, too! If you’re a fan of big prizes, then look no further than progressive jackpot slots slots. As a rule of thumb, we also suggest that you stick to the slots with the highest RTPs, as this will increase your chances of winning in the long run.
This simple game – found at many casinos available in Japan – is nothing more than a two-card version of baccarat. Two cards are drawn, one being the dragon and the other the tiger. You'll then need to bet on which card will be of higher value, with the cards ranked as in poker. This game offers an incredibly low house edge of just 3.73%, with odds better than baccarat.
Pachinko, Keirin, Keiba, Ōto Rēsu and Kyōtei
By far the most popular casino game in Japan is Pachinko (パチンコ), which even accounts for over 4% of Japan’s total GDP. The land-based version is played on a machine similar to those involving slots, featuring heavy steel balls. Essentially, these enter the top of the machine, and winning will depend on the path taken that’s controlled by a player using a series of levers.
There are just four types of sports you can bet on in Japan, with only pari-mutuel wagering allowed. These are:
- Keirin (ケイリン): A form of motor-paced bicycle racing that takes place in velodromes around the country.
- Keiba (競馬): This is the Japanese word for horse racing, which is incredibly popular and sees over 21,000 races happening each year. Japan’s biggest horse race is held in March at the Chukyo Racecourse, and offers a prize of ¥202,350,000.
- Oto Resu (オートレース): A Japanese version of speedway racing, with riders on 599cc machines that have no brakes!
- Kyōtei (競艇) A type of powerboat racing. It’s also Japan’s second most popular betting sport, with an annual income of ¥3 billion. Six tiny single-seater motorboats race around Japan’s 24 specially built stadiums.
Baccarat is one of the oldest casino games in existence. It’s played with a 6-8 deck shoe, with the aim being to get as close to 9 as possible. There are three types of bets: Banker, Player and Tie, with the Banker bet giving the best odds of 45.8%. There are many variations of the basic game available, which you can find across the top live dealer casinos online.
Along with blackjack, poker is one of the few casino games that requires more skill than luck. At the heart of the game is “bluffing”, or pretending you have a better or worse hand than in reality. This requires a neutral facial expression, hence the term “poker face”. There are many game variations, with Texas Hold’em and Omaha being the most popular.
The image of roulette's famous emerald green table is probably what comes to mind for many when the subject of casinos comes up, coupled with watching the croupier elegantly spin the teak wheel before expertly releasing the ivory ball. Roulette offers some of the best odds among games of its kind, with many bets depending on 50:50 outcomes, such as red/black, odd/even, and high/low.
Many of our recommended online casinos in Japan will offer live dealer games in Japanese audio, along with video and text. Nothing beats sitting at home with a live dealer working the table before you, directly streamed in HD via the internet to your mobile device. Remember that all live dealer games at the best live casino sites in Japan will offer their own generous bonuses for all new and returning players.
The first Japanese lottery was established in 1630, only to be banned in 1842. After WWII, the lottery was restarted again, with the Japanese government in dire need of funds. The major lotteries in the country include the Loto 3, 4, 6 and 7, and the Mini Loto. The Loto 7 offers prizes going up to over ¥1 billion! (approx. €8.5 million).
The largest lottery in Japan is the Nenmatsu Jumbo Takarakuji (ジャンボ), which takes place on the last day of the year. We should also mention Sukuratchi (or scratch cards) that offer instant prizes. The National Lottery system also allows betting on J. League soccer. Called Toto, it’s not like Western betting markets, but instead runs in the form of a lottery that uses the actual soccer match results to decide the winners with a lottery-style draw.
Deposit Options for Online Casinos Japan
Part and parcel of the sign-up process with any reputable online casino in Japan will involve heading over to the cashier’s section of the website or your account. Here, you’ll see all the payment options available. Before you choose one, look at the list below to gain a better understanding of what each option offers in terms of convenience. After all, no one wants to be left waiting a whole working week to cash out!
This deposit method is the fastest available. Many Japanese online casino players use iWallet, as Skrill is unavailable, and NETELLER only offers limited services. However, virtually all international online casinos in Japan will be happy to accept e-wallet payments from PayPal, Trustly and ecoPayz, to name but a few.
If you have a credit card or a debit card issued by a Japanese bank, you’re out of luck, as the former automatically prevent any transactions attempted on gambling websites. That said, any of these cards from an international bank, whether Mastercard, Maestro or Visa, will function without any problems.
These are a great option for players looking to keep a handle on their gambling spending, with the most popular examples being UnionPay, EntroPay, and paysafecard. Be aware that most prepaid cards will have very low deposit limits and the inability to make withdrawals.
Sending money directly to your online mobile casino account through special banking apps from your mobile device is slowly gaining in popularity in Japan. Platforms such as Boku don’t require your bank details, while Siru Mobile charges your casino spending to the next month’s phone bill. We should also mention Apple Pay and Google Pay, which are similar to e-wallets in that you can sync them to your credit cards or bank accounts.
You’ll find more and more online casinos available in Japan willing to accept cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Monero and Dash, to name just a few. Nevertheless, though you may hear many harking on about the anonymous nature of crypto, you’ll still need to pass certain verification checks in order to withdraw any winnings. Utilising crypto is not something we would recommend as, among other things, all these coins are susceptible to extreme volatility. The best crypto casinos accept .
Japanese Language and Customer Support
In order to make all Japanese players feel more welcome, you’ll find that many of today’s largest online casinos will offer the Japanese language as a given. Furthermore, should you run into any issues or simply want to clarify anything, then customer support will also be available in Japanese.
Mobile Betting at Online Japanese Casino Sites
All the best online casinos available in Japan offer casino games fully optimised for their mobile users on Android and Apple, which is great news for one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. Whether your game of choice is Pachinko, roulette, or poker, all games on mobile offer the same amazing graphics, sound design and gameplay experienced on desktop sites. These days, in fact, many casino sites even come with their own native gambling apps to make things even easier and more accessible.
Game Developers at Casino Sites Available in Japan
There are many exciting and thrilling games across all casino sites available in Japan, designed by some of the most reputable suppliers in the industry. These include Evolution Gaming, Playtech, Red Tiger Gaming, Microgaming, and Play’n GO.
Land-Based Japanese Casinos
Presently, there are no land-based casinos in Japan. However, a 2016 law was passed that would allow casino gambling at integrated resorts, and so, the Japan Casino Regulatory Commission was formed to oversee licensing.
The Best Online Casinos in Japan – Summary
Unfortunately, Japan can’t be considered a gambling-friendly country – however, unlike some other Asian countries, the government doesn’t prevent international casinos from being accessed by locals. As a result, many internationally licensed casinos accept Japanese players.
As for the future of gambling in Japan, it’s important to remember that Japanese society is incredibly conservative, which means change may be slow to come. Despite that, we hope for a day when the Land of the Rising Sun can shine its light over a country where gambling is regularised and legal for all its players!
Best Online Casino Japan FAQs
Within Japan itself, there are no domestic online casinos. That said, the government does not outwardly prohibit citizens from accessing offshore sites, many of which accept and cater for Japanese players.
Yes – virtually all of our recommended online casinos available in Japan accept Japanese yen.
We recommend that you check out our list at the beginning of this article. All have reputable licences, meaning that you can relax and play with the knowledge that your online security and the quality of the games is assured.
Absolutely. With so much gambling done over the internet using mobile phones, all online casinos in Japan are optimised to give you the best online playing experience.
All online casinos available in Japan will happily accept many payment options, including credit/debit cards, e-wallets, wire transfers, and even cryptocurrencies.
If you’re a Japanese citizen, then yes, you’ll need to pay tax. Foreigners can receive their winnings in Japan tax-free.
Yes – many offshore casinos will feature the website and online support in the Japanese language.
Yes, you can! We suggest that you use the free-play, demo version of the game in question to get a better understanding before you start wagering with real money. This will allow you to try things out beforehand, and get accustomed to the rules and how the game works.
Spin Casino and 22Bet both offer Video Pachinko.
Yes, of course. All online casinos Japan will offer generous welcome bonuses for all new players and any number of other incentives once you start playing.