The first thing you should know about gambling in Japan is that it is quite different when compared to other countries. While standard forms of gambling are banned, there are many alternatives that makes this country quite interesting when it comes to the gambling culture.
Moreover, the government introduced some changes to strict regulations, and some forms of land-based casinos and bookies are not allowed there. Also, the expansion of online casinos is present like in all other countries. If you want to check popular options on online platforms in Japan, check out Mystino.
While there are no classic games in land-based casinos, the alternatives are also very interesting, especially when it comes to pachinko, which is the most popular game. The market is on the rise, and we are going to present you to some important details and data related to popular gambling options and market size.
Most Popular Gambling Options
If you check the statistics, you will notice that the Pachinko is the most popular game by far, and its market size of it is around $200 billion. It is followed by sports betting including the horse races. The market value of this category is bigger than $50 billion.
Also, the government has a plan on improving it by setting some regulations and create a market that will be worth at least $65 billion. There are some other categories that altogether create a value of around $30 billion, and those categories are lottery, boat racing, motorbike racing, and eSports.
Main Features of Pachinko
This is the most popular option related to the gambling culture in Japan. While it is quite similar to typical slot machines, there are some rules and details that are making a huge difference. First of all, the coin size is very low, and that is set by the law so it can prevent people from facing serious financial issues. Also, there are no money prizes, but rather collectibles that you can convert into different prizes.
That makes it even weirder for people who are used to standard games in most online and regular casinos. The type of prizes that you can get while playing this game is different from place to place, but also by the number of collectibles that you won. You can win all kinds of things like sweat, equipment, cigarettes, clothes, and more.
On the other side, there are many controversies surrounding this game. First of all, many places are controlled by a criminal organizations. You will also notice that by the amount of places where people are smoking even though it is banned in Japan to smoke in closed areas. Therefore, be prepared to sit in a place full of smoke that is probably run by some criminal organization.
According to some researches, nearly 50% of the market is held by gangs. Also, there is a serious problem with the addiction that this game can cause, and some say that it is even more problematic than standard games available in worldwide online platforms. First of all, people will get too relaxed with it because it is not a typical form of gambling, but rather an attractive video game.
In that matter, it is very important for the officials to focus more on this game and the whole market. There are signs of that as well since Japan is trying to regulate the whole market and allow globally popular games to become available.
What About Sports Betting?
First of all, we have to mention that the system that people in Japan are using to bet on sports events is different from the rest of the world. The most popular option is Toto, which is a form of soccer betting where you don’t have so many options available. You can choose either the winner of the game or the exact result. Bicycle and boat racing are very popular as well, and there are great competitions in this country that makes it even more interesting. The same is for horse racing.
On the other side, we already mentioned that Japan has the plan to invest more in this market and make it much more popular. The key is to include proper regulations and make all gambling places legal. That will increase the tax payments and make it safer for players as well. Moreover, the reason for this move is also related to the global expansion of online gambling platforms.
Therefore, instead of banning a lot of websites, they decided to invest in domestic ones that will attract players from this country. Another reason for that is related to data that says that nearly $50 billion is spent on gambling each year, and all of that money is going to international companies.
In that matter, it represents a great opportunity for the country to fill the budget. Also, dealing with bans is getting more difficult due to global popularity and existence of so many websites. The fact is that Japan has a strong gambling culture, which is something that government cannot prevent.
As you can see, the biggest part of the market is related to Pachinko, but things are probably going to change in the future with new regulations that will allow cash prizes. The current value of online gambling sector is around $7 billion, but it is estimated that it will grow to over $10 billion in the next couple of years.
It is important to follow the most recent trends. This is not something that can be controlled so easily. Also, it will help players to be much safer since they won’t need to look for alternatives like using VPN to play on websites that are restricted.
In the end, the fact is that there are still a lot of illegal or partly legal places in Japan where people are allowed to gamble. With new regulations, this country will manage to deal with this issue, and they will manage to do that only by following global trends.