Online Gambling in Japan to Remain Illegal – Prime Minister Kishida

| June 7, 2022 9:41 am PDT
  • Despite integrated resorts set to be welcomed into Japan, the nation’s prime minister is against online gambling in the country.
  • Sports betting sites in Japan will remain illegal with no indication of that changing any time soon.
  • PM Fumio Kishida has also promised to attack illegal gambling operations in the East Asian nation.

Anyone hoping to indulge themselves in a little online gambling with real money in Japan should look away now.

According to the Japanese prime minister, gambling online in any capacity is illegal. And it will remain that way for the foreseeable future. This is despite gambling laws in Japan being amended in the late 2010s to accommodate integrated resorts.

Three of the nation’s regions — Nagasaki, Osaka, and Wakayama are currently awaiting the outcome of federal regulators’ reports on their integrated resort proposals. It’s highly unlikely that we will see any real progress on these resorts soon, with projected dates of 2025 becoming increasingly less realistic.

Why is the Japanese Government Against Online Gambling?

At a Budget Committee meeting last week, incumbent PM, Kishida, was immutable in his opposition to legalizing online gambling of any kind.

This includes online casino sites and sports betting operations. That is bad news to the many gambling conglomerates who had one eye on capitalizing on what appeared to be a seismic shift in the nation’s attitudes to the industry as a whole.

But don’t be too quick to point the finger at what might appear to be hypocrisy. Especially when the idea of integrated resorts has moved past the conceptual stages. Kishida’s words could be interpreted as being hardline, but this is not surprising at all.

Japanese lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto was jailed for four years in September 2021, and hit with a significant fine, for accepting casino bribes.

The government of Japan wants to distance itself as far as possible from scandals such as this, as well as the jailing of Japanese Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai, who was sentenced just months before following a vote-buying scandal.

While this government remains steadfast against online gambling being introduced any time soon, there is no doubt that this issue will be heavily debated in the future. 

Gamblers Continue to Use Illegal Online Casinos in Japan

Despite the government being against any of its citizens playing casino games, or using illegal sports betting sites online, players continue to use these sites.

Prime minister Kishida has stated that the country is determined to wipe out this practice, however. This will, naturally, lead some pro-gambling campaigners to point out the benefits of using safe casinos online.

Furthermore, it would appear that the financial incentive speaks for itself.

But for now, it doesn’t appear that things will be changing in the prosperous Asian nation. But who knows what the future holds?

Looking at the United States, there are still some jurisdictions that have taken a similar approach to the Japanese government. So, before we judge other countries on their gambling laws, we should probably first look inward.

So, here’s a look at the US states most likely to legalize gambling in 2022. And a little about the ones that came close to getting their bills over the line in 2021.

Adam Haynes
Adam Haynes

Adam is a sports writer and tipster with a strong background in MMA, boxing, and combat sports.

When Adam isn't writing about those, as well as politics, rugby, and Gaelic Games, he can be found working on methods and strategies to beat the bookies.

For his troubles, Adam is a fan of Leinster Rugby, Glasgow Celtic, and trusting the process.

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