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When Will Japan Allow Online Gambling?
Gambling Laws in Japan
Officially, Japan bans casinos and gambling is strictly controlled. Its legislation is even one of the most restrictive in all of Asia! The state wishes to protect its fellow citizens from the problems of dependency or over-indebtedness which often afflict the most vulnerable populations.
Only certain bets or lotteries and toto (a game that mixes lotto and betting) are allowed. However, it is still possible to play poker in private clubs and the Japan Poker League can boast of having reputable professional poker players among its members. In June 2012, the Japanese Naoya Kihara even offered his country his very first WSOP (World Series of Poker) bracelet! With this victory, he immediately asserted his desire to become the poker ambassador to Japan.
It must be said that the strict position of the state, in force for more than a century, is increasingly criticized.
The younger generation no longer holds the same prejudices about poker, オンライン カジノ games and the gambling industry. But heir parents don't like it. They don't really know what younger people are doing online, but they don't like it. Still, they have a lot of their friends who play mahjong. So basically they don't think gambling is a problem.
Could the cultural blockage, linked to tradition and the bad image of this game, finally be shattered? Equipped with their high-tech mobile phones, the Japanese have very easy access to the free versions of the games rooms which then suggest an evolution to the paid versions. And prohibition, difficult to apply in the virtual age, ends up mainly benefiting illegal gambling dens.
These are similar concerns that have led Western countries to offer a legal offer of online poker. Until that happens in Japan, many Japanese are practicing to compete against the best poker players in international tournaments. Japan is well-known around the world for the talent of its players in a game that has yet to be recognized in the Empire of the Rising Sun.
A slow evolution, but one that will certainly happen
Most Japanese people are against opening casinos in Japan; for the majority of them, games like poker represent a simple game of chance without gain. However, mentalities are changing.
Although the United States has the best turnover for the casino sector, and contrary to popular Western belief conveyed particularly through cinema, the ten largest casinos in the world are located in Asia (8 in Macao and 2 in Singapore). Each year, these two cities catch up with the American ogre in part thanks to the multitude of new rich Asians as well as tourists or the explosion of poker.
Obviously, this Asian attraction motivates some people in Japan to open real casino rooms. The explosion of the smartphone market and its applications, as well as the expansion of the web on a global scale are also opening new doors for the Japanese public.
It is estimated that 3.2 million Japanese are addicted to gambling.
It is only a matter of time before Japanese gambling laws begin to address online betting activities. However, this can only be for the best, as most countries with strict gambling laws are doing reasonably well. As it stands, Japanese online casino players are vulnerable to fraud from unsuspecting online casinos. Therefore, make sure that an online casino has a valid license before risking an investment.