Top-rated Sports Betting Sites in Japan 2024

Compared to other countries, sports betting in Japan is partly legalized. Gamblers can only bet on a few sports in specific formats at land-based gambling houses. Because of the restrictive legal climate, Japanese punters have limited choices when they sign up for internet sportsbooks licensed in the country. Nevertheless, numerous international bookies accept players from Japan.

This happens since there is no active prosecution of people and entities that break the law in this northeast Asian country. The popularity of online sports betting is partly because local players can get away with playing games and bet types the government doesn't allow. A good example is fixed-odds wagering which is prohibited at Japanese online bookies.

Top-rated Sports Betting Sites in Japan 2024
Ethan Moore
Written byEthan MooreWriter
Researched byMatteo BianchiResearcher
Localised byLeticia "Letty" SantosLocaliser
Everything you need to know about betting in Japan

Everything you need to know about betting in Japan

While other countries provide typical betting odds like American odds and Hong Kong odds, Japan doesn't have standard odd formats for sports betting. Most sites use decimal odds. Parlay bets are the acceptable forms of sports wagering, whereby players predict two or more point spreads, under/over wins, or money lines.

With fixed odds, bettors have many options to choose from, e.g., the number of touchdowns to be scored in NFL Super Bown and individual game results. Online, Japanese players bet on a broad range of games from NBA, NHL, NFL, rugby, cricket, horse racing, football, and baseball. Boxing, eSports, and MMA are also available at online bookies.

Everything you need to know about betting in Japan
How to Pick the Best Japan Betting Site

How to Pick the Best Japan Betting Site

Choosing the right platform for sports betting Japan is crucial for a rewarding experience. Here's how to pick the best among the various Japan betting sites:

  • Legality and Regulation: Stick to legal sports betting Japan platforms that adhere to local regulations.
  • Variety of Sports: Look for sites that cover a range of sports, from football to Japan horse racing betting.
  • User Experience: A good Japanese sports betting guide must offer a seamless online or mobile experience, especially through betting apps Japan.
  • Payment Methods: Check for convenient and secure payment options suitable for Japanese bettors.
  • Bonuses and Promotions: Many sports betting sites Japan offer attractive bonuses. Evaluate these offers carefully.
  • Customer Support: Reliable and responsive support is essential.

By following these tips, you can find top sports betting sites Japan that align with your interests and needs. BettingRanker provides a list of recommended platforms, ensuring a smooth start to your betting journey.

How to Pick the Best Japan Betting Site
How to Bet on Sports in Japan

How to Bet on Sports in Japan

BettingRanker provides a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to bet on sports in Japan. From understanding odds and bet types to navigating through different sports markets, our guide ensures that you're equipped with the knowledge to place informed bets.

  • Choosing the Right Platform: Look for top sports betting sites in Japan, like the ones recommended by BettingRanker. They provide a curated list ensuring safety, trustworthiness, and an excellent user experience.
  • Registration: Once you've picked your preferred site from the list, the next step is creating an account. These platforms are user-friendly, especially for beginners.
  • Deposit Funds: Online gambling Japan platforms often offer multiple payment methods. Pick one that suits you and fund your account.
  • Understand the Sports: If you’re new to Japanese football betting sites or Japan horse racing betting, take some time to understand the sports, teams, and players. This knowledge can significantly enhance your betting experience.
  • Place Your Bets: Navigate through the sports betting sites Japan has to offer and place your bets. Look for real-time and in-play betting options to make the experience more interactive.
How to Bet on Sports in Japan
Mobile Betting in Japan

Mobile Betting in Japan

Mobile betting has seen a dramatic rise in popularity in Japan, opening up new avenues for both novice and seasoned punters. Here's a comprehensive look at betting apps Japan and how they are revolutionizing the sports betting Japan landscape:

  • Ease of Access: With your smartphone, you can bet anywhere and anytime, making sports betting in Japan more accessible.
  • Range of Options: From Japan horse racing betting to Japanese football betting sites, there's a wide variety available on mobile platforms.
  • Security and Trust: Look for top sports betting sites Japan that offer secure and trustworthy mobile apps.
  • Features and Functions: Modern apps provide live updates, in-play betting, and a plethora of other features.
  • Bonuses and Promotions: Some platforms offer exclusive bonuses for mobile users.
  • Getting Started: Most online gambling Japan sites have user-friendly apps that are easy for beginners.

By visiting BettingRanker, you'll find an extensive list of trusted betting apps Japan, ensuring an immersive and secure mobile betting experience.

Mobile Betting in Japan
History of Betting in Japan

History of Betting in Japan

Japan has a long-standing tradition of betting even though it had been outlawed. The first instance of betting started in the 6th century. It was a popular leisure activity among the rulers of ancient Japan. Emperor Nihon Shoki gambled regularly in his royal residence. The earliest betting regulation ruled out different types of betting.

Those who disregarded the rule were whipped and punished. In the 8th century, a dice game (ban-sugoroku) that mimics backgammon was popularized by Emperor Tenmu. Literally translated, the game means double-six. But the game was officially boycotted when Empress Jito took over the throne. Then Bakuto emerged during her rule and is today known as Kyoto.

As more gamblers joined the bandwagon, violence and other antisocial activities prevailed in the country. The rulers had to intervene by establishing nine statutes to prohibit betting in the 13th century. Samurais were forbidden to indulge in games of chance in the Edo period. Only the elite samurais could gamble and drink socially.

Some forms of gambling were legalized in the early 1700s. But two centuries later, the Penal Code of 1907 prohibited all types of gambling. However, the government had to revive the lottery system after the Second World War to boost the economy which had been hit hard.

Betting nowadays in Japan

The federal government oversees all forms of horse racing through the Japan Racing Association (JRA). Betting on horse races is a bit complicated as only a few foreign horses are involved in the competitions. The restrictions are mainly due to the protectionist guidelines that prevent racing quality from rising above certain levels.

Gamblers who wish to play the ponies can only do so through JRA, which operates tracks in Tokyo, Kansai, Honshu, Kyushu, and Hokkaido. The JRA also runs numerous off-track betting establishments known as WINS. Punters can watch races on TV and bet via the internet or cell phones.

Betting on motorcycle racing, asphalt speedway, and powerboat racing is promoted throughout the country. Wagering tickets are sold in booths and circuits. In addition, online sports betting sites in Japan allow players to put their stakes on the web or mobile.

The sites are mobile-friendly, so they give the same experience as PC interfaces. This means one can make a wagering deposit straight from their comfort zone. Most punters use Safari and Chrome browsers. A few sportsbooks are downloadable on smartphones and tablets. Users access bets on popular world sports from these platforms.

History of Betting in Japan
Betting Legislation in Japan

Betting Legislation in Japan

Sports betting in Japan is partially legalized. Only domestic sports can be wagered on in live casinos, i.e., motorcycle, keirin (cycling), powerboat racing, local football leagues, and horse racing. Just like the lottery, all forms of gambling in Japan are offered on a pari-mutuel pool basis.

Chapter 23 of the Japan penal code prohibits standard online sports betting on unauthorized sites. Regardless of the regulation, many local players place their wagers on offshore sportsbooks. Technically speaking, overseas gambling sites are not illegal. They are regulated by other jurisdictions. But wagering with an unlicensed bookie is risky in a country where betting is not allowed.

Betting is subject to taxation in Japan, even though the laws seem intricate. Winnings on horse racing exceeding 500,000 per year are taxed. When calculating the taxable amount, the cost of lost bets against wins must not be deducted. Since there's a narrow range of legal sports betting, other games of chance are not mentioned in the tax code. The federal government doesn't license online sportsbooks. Hence, operators hardly withhold taxes.

Betting Legislation in Japan
Betting acts in Japan

Betting acts in Japan

The 2018 Act for Development of Specified Complex Tourist Facilities Areas allows private companies to provide betting services in certain regions. Also known as the Integrated Resort (IR) Law, it requires IR operators to have a license. It should be noted that Penal Code No. 45 of 1907 bans all types of betting.

Yet, the IR Act explicitly allows gambling by excluding this penal code. Even though no resort casinos have been built yet, plans to establish the first IR casino are underway.

Under the Penal Code Article No. 185, sports betting, Japanese football pools, and the public lottery are run by government corporations. In the same legal context, anyone caught gambling illegally may face a monetary fine of up to ¥500,000, unless the bets are purely for entertainment. According to this law, 'gambling' refers to an activity whereby two or more people predict the outcome of a game of chance or event, hoping to gain a prize (asset or property).

The outcome, in this case, is unpredictable and out of the participants' control. In Section two of Penal Code Article No. 186, anyone who runs a gambling place for a financial return without a permit could face a jail term of between three months and five years. A gambling place can be a physical location or a congregation of gamblers.

Betting acts in Japan
About the author
Ethan Moore
Ethan Moore

Ethan "BetMaster" Moore, born amidst the pulsating energy of London, combines a sharp analytical mind with the excitement of sports. As the chief writer for BettingRanker, he offers a unique blend of stats, strategies, and stories, making the world of sports betting both accessible and thrilling.

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Everything you need to know about casinos

Why are online sportsbooks so popular in Japan?

Since land-based gambling is partially allowed in Japan, punters are left with finite options to bet on. However, online sportsbooks offer various sporting events, leagues, and matches for wagering. These sites provide competitive odds and irresistible promotions for new players. More and more bookmakers are offering betting in the Japanese language, making it easier for local players to try their luck over the Internet.

Are casinos legal in Japan?

Yes, casinos are legal in Japan, but the process to fully establish them has been complex and gradual. Casinos were not initially legal in Japan. Efforts to legalize them began in the 2000s, with significant progress from 2015 to 2018. The Casino Administration Committee, set up in 2020, manages casino licenses for Tokyo, Yokohama, and Osaka. The 2016 gambling rules initially prevented casinos, but they were later revised to pave the way for resort-based casinos via the Integrated Resorts casino bill. However, actual casino operations might be delayed due to the need for more regulations. Japan has a big potential market for casinos due to its large gambling population, strong economy, and status as a tourist hub.

Where can one find the best odds for sports betting in Japan?

This site features a list of top bookmakers along with the best odds in the market. This information has been gathered by experts who've spent hours of research, filtering out the best odds.

Are Japanese sportsbooks safe?

The best bookmakers for Japanese players are licensed and regulated by reputable authorities. A good site safeguards user data with technologies such as SSL/TLS of the latest HTTPS.

Which sports can I bet on in Japan?

In Japan, you can bet on a diverse range of sports that cater to various interests. Some of the most popular sports for betting include baseball, soccer, horse racing, sumo wrestling, basketball, and golf. These options offer a mix of traditional and modern sports, providing a wide array of choices for sports enthusiasts and bettors.

What is the best sport betting sites for the Japanese?

If you're looking for reputable offshore bookmakers to engage in sports betting in Japan, BettingRanker has curated a list of top sports betting platforms that you might find appealing. These platforms offer a secure and exciting betting experience. Remember to always ensure that you are accessing legitimate and licensed platforms. Visit the recommended sports betting platforms in the top list from BettingRanker for an enjoyable and responsible betting experience.

Which currencies can I use for betting in Japan?

The currencies available for betting can vary depending on the betting platform you choose. Many international betting sites offer a range of currency options, including major global currencies like US Dollars (USD), Euros (EUR), British Pounds (GBP), and Japanese Yen (JPY). When registering on a platform, you'll typically be able to select your preferred currency for deposits and withdrawals. Always ensure you understand the currency options available on the specific platform you're using.

Can I open an online betting account?

Yes, you can open an online betting account on various platforms that offer sports betting services. These platforms allow you to create an account, deposit funds, and start placing bets on your favorite sports events.