It is not only the sun that rises in Japan. Interest among Japanese slot players in playing real money slots online for Japanese Yen is soaring. If you are tired of Pachinko parlors then you may want to check out our list of the best online casinos in Japan.
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Whenever the subject of legal casinos in Japan comes up, one always thinks about Pachinko Parlours. Pachinko is a curious game of chance that is closer to pinball than to online slots. It is uniquely Japanese but incredibly popular. You will find Pachinko parlours in every major city in Japan and on every street corner.
Gambling in itself though is illegal. Though the government’s stance on online gambling in Japan is softening. Pachinko gets around Japan’s gambling regulation by being classed as a game of skill. It is still illegal to win real money playing Pachinko so, winnings are paid out in tokens which can then be exchanged for cash at a local change bureau.
Are casinos legal in Japan?
Gambling is strictly prohibited in Japan. Despite Pachinko parlours being everywhere in the country, gambling is largely frowned upon. Having said that Pachinko is something of a national pastime and millions of Japanese play casino-style games every day. This is yet another example of the dichotomous nature of the Japanese people.
Many westerners imagine that there are no legal casinos in Japan, and are usually run by the Japanese Yakuza. There may well be underground casinos run by shady criminal types, but in fact, there is no online gambling legislation in Japan prohibiting Japanese players from playing at Japan online casinos or sports betting websites.
Legal gambling age in Japan
It is interesting to note that, Japan does not follow Western ideas on the gambling age. In fact, they are even more severe and so the legal gambling age in Japan is 20. Of course, technically at the moment, there are no laws specifically relating to gambling online in Japan. If and when such laws are introduced then the legal gambling age in Japan could change.
How to stay safe and secure gambling online in Japan
Although legal gambling in Japan is not a thing, there are no restrictions for Japan slots players who wish to play offshore. Of course, this does mean that many Japanese casino players have concerns about safer gambling online.
The rule for anyone that wishes to play slots in Japan is simple, do your due diligence. Look for a fully licensed online casino. There are many legal casinos Japan slot players can go to play their favourite slot games. The best of these will have a gambling license issued in Malta, however many Curacao casinos also accept Japanese players.
All the casinos that we promote here at Ken Slots are fully licensed and happy to accept players from Japan. They offer a website in the Japanese language, top Japan casino bonuses and you can even deposit and withdraw in Japanese Yen. There are even bitcoin online casinos Japan players can use.
SSL encryption for online transactions in Japan
It goes without saying (but we will) that the best online casinos in Japan all use (as a minimum) 128bit SSL security encryption for all credit card and e-wallet transactions.
Best online casinos in Japan
The best online casinos in Japan are not in Japan at all, they are all based offshore. This is because the Japanese government is not ready to open up Japan to all types of gambling and certainly does not want to encourage criminal activity. Japanese players may play online slots at one of the many Japan online casinos that have now sprung up.
Japanese law tends to focus more on corporations and big business as opposed to the man or woman in the street so as to reduce the possibility of crime. What this means is that there are now many safe and secure options for Japan slots players to play slots online.
Live dealer online casinos Japan
Because Japan has no real history of live casinos, few players in Japan understand how live casinos work. Many Japanese people are much more at ease when they play slots. Obviously, this is due to the fact that the average Japanese man or woman in the street has more exposure to Japanese slots or Pachinko.
This is not always going to be the case though. Many Japanese people travel overseas and so have the opportunity to visit a land-based casino. In Asia, there are now many more casinos than there were 20-30 years ago in places such as the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore and Cambodia. Because of this many Japan slots players are now migrating to live dealer online casinos Japan.
Popular online casino games in Japan
Most Japan online casinos do not offer games of Pachinko. They do offer the next best thing though. Slot games in Japan are incredibly popular. Recent years have seen an explosion of slot games created specifically for the Asian markets(s).
But slots are not the only game that Japanese casino players can play online. Many Japanese players enjoy playing traditional casino games as well as some more localised games that have been popular in Japan for years.
Japanese slot games
The most played casino game by Japanese people is slots. Japanese players readily adopt western cultural styles, even in slot games, yet they prefer to play typically Asian-style slots. Games like Samurai Ken, Sakura Fortune, and Koi Princess are very popular. Progressive jackpot slots also go down well with Japanese players.
Without question the king of casino games in Japan (or anywhere else in Asia) is Baccarat. The game is enormously popular, deceptively simple, and has a low house edge making it ideal for the Asian market.
Known in Japan as Riichi Mahjong the game is similar to its Chinese counterpart but with a few subtle differences. This type of game is less likely to be found at online casinos in Japan as it usually has its own dedicated site just for Mahjong. Some Japanese casinos will offer it though.
Dragon Tiger has similarities to Baccarat. It is played with two hands (Dragon and Tiger) and the object of the game is to decide which hand will draw the highest card. The gameplay is a bit like ‘Play Your Cards Right’.
Whilst not as popular in Japan as it is in Europe, a lot of Japanese players like to play this classic casino game. The most enjoyed versions are the live roulette games such as Immersive Roulette.
Japanese payment methods
Since most online casinos in the west do not accept Japanese Yen, Japan slots players need to be more creative. The best online casinos in Japan will all accept payment via an e-wallet. This means that payment methods such as Paypal, Skrill, Neteller, WebMoney and Paysafecard are popular in Japan.
Mastercard and Visa are other payment alternatives widely used by Japanese casino players. In fact, these recognised forms of online payment tend to be favoured by many Japan slots players. However, there is one way for Japanese casino players to deposit and withdraw at the casino that is proving to be both popular and convenient…Cryptocurrency!
Bitcoin online casinos Japan
If the rumours are to be believed, Bitcoin was started by a Japanese guy named Satoshi Nakamoto. Many believe this to be just a pseudonym, however. Whatever the truth, Bitcoin online casinos Japan are growing in popularity.
Japan ranks second in the world only to the USA in terms of trading in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. As recently as 2020 Japan also officially recognised Bitcoin as property or tangible assets. Good news for Japanese wives divorcing their husbands!
Casino bonus offers in Japan
Much the same as any online casino player that likes to play casino table games or slots, Japanese players love a good casino welcome bonus. Japanese slot players can find anything from a 25 free spins bonus at Lucky Niki casino to an 80 wager free spins offer at PlayOJO. We would always recommend that Japanese slots players check the bonus terms and conditions before accepting any offer.
Best Online Casinos in Japan
Frequently Asked Questions
After the USA (who else!) Japan is the world’s largest supporter of cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency transactions in Japan jumped 51% in the first 11 months since it was officially recognized in 2020 to a figure approaching ¥103 trillion ($900 billion). Trading in Bitcoin and other digital currencies is expected to reach well over $1 trillion by the end of 2022.
The Integrated Resorts Implementation Act came into effect on the 19th of July last year (2021) and the impact could mean Japan allowing land-based casinos for the first time. However, the effects of this legislation would not bear fruit till at least 2026 and even then the creation of Japan casinos is not guaranteed.
According to the Chairperson of the Liberal Democratic Party’s National Public Safety Commission, Hachiro Okonogi the government has no plans to legalize online gambling in Japan. This is despite the massive upsurge in Japan slots players visiting online gambling sites during the Pandemic.
According to the website for Critical Gambling Studies, Japan has one of the highest rates of problem gambling in the world. This is due, in part to Pachinko being classed as a form of entertainment rather than gambling. Many Japanese people suffer from a sense of shame as a result of Pachinko-related problems.
Despite not having any actual casinos, gambling in Pachinko parlors is very popular. There are around 13,000 Pachinko Parlours in Japan generating revenue of more than $200 billion per year.