Why the Japanese iGaming Market is Set to Boom in 2023

Japan has a long history with the gaming market and has influenced a lot of technology design and innovation. It is home to Nintendo and Sony and was responsible for some of the most iconic games consoles ever released. As technology continues to evolve, the industry is now focused on the best casino offers and iGaming.

History of Gambling in Japan

Technically, iGaming encompasses any form of game that is played online. By far, the most significant section of online gaming focuses on casinos and is a multi-million-dollar industry across the world. In Japan, there is a conflict between the authorities and the residents. You will not find any land-based casinos in Japan as the law prohibits gambling with a couple of exceptions, including pachinko and sports betting. Currently, it is legal to bet on horse racing, powerboat racing, bicycle racing, motorbike racing and soccer. There is also a lottery-style game which is called Takarakuji, which is available in many outlets in Japan, just as it is in other countries.

Pachinko Prevalence

If you have not visited Japan, you may very well not have heard of pachinko. Once upon a time, it was a simple childhood game, but today it is a thriving industry that makes $2 billion per year. Pachinko parlours, as they are known, are limited to Japan, and are now considered a significant part of the culture and found on nearly every High Street. The amount of money they generate accounts for 4% of the Japanese gross domestic product. Pachinko is kind of like a pinball machine, but they have been modernized over time. No more technical in the same way as you play a pinball machine; a metal ball is launched into the game with the aim of hitting specific targets. It is loud, and a pachinko parlour features row upon row of committed players seemingly unaware of the chaos and noise that surrounds them. Because gambling is illegal, you don’t win money playing pachinko; you can win tokens or prizes, and that seems to be enough.

Japanese igaming market

A New Generation

The popularity of pachinko tells us that locals are captivated by the idea of gambling. Mobile phones are also a very big part of life in Japan, and they have always been at the cutting edge of technology here too. This means that the younger generation is completely comfortable and at home with mobile gaming and technology. There is certainly a considerable interest in gambling, and people are willing to risk offshore casinos and not getting caught in order to enjoy the games. It would be illegal for an operator to set up an online casino within Japan. Still, obviously, offshore casinos are not breaking any rules as they were not set up expressly to attract a Japanese audience. Instead, it is the people from Japan who like gambling and use these sites that could find themselves in trouble. Technically it is illegal, and the government has previously reiterated that gambling is considered illegal, and anyone found taking part in online gambling using offshore casinos can still be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. 

A New Hope

In 2018 the government introduced a bill that legalized certain integrated resorts or complex tourist facility areas. They may not be any more than 3% of the tourist resorts’ overall floor space, and Japanese citizens would be able to access them. Nagasaki, Osaka, and Wakayama are all establishing such locations, which means that next year could be the start of gambling gaining a real foothold in the country. It is almost a foregone conclusion that it would become a booming industry if it were to continue to be legalized in Japan. Offshore casinos mean that many residents are already very aware of the games that can be played and online live casino terminology, and the level of interest already shown means that these casino-type areas are likely to be very popular.


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The SFLCN.com Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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