What the Future Holds for the Japanese Casino Industry?
The online casino market in Japan is booming, and what makes it attractive is its tremendous unexploited potential. Japan's world of gambling is still in its infancy stage, even though it is among the world's largest markets when it comes to overall income earned by markets worldwide.
If we add the Yokohama and Tokyo market, then the Japanese online casino market can be easily considered one of the world's leading gambling markets.
Not to mention that online gambling is completely banned in the country, with government officials allowing only a few games to be played as a legal option. Besides that, there are a lot of reasons to be thrilled about the Japanese online casino market. First, the plan to incorporate as many physical casinos as possible and, second, the huge popularity of existing, legal forms of gambling, which made analysis point its potential to become the second-largest casino market in the world.
So, did Japan Legalize Gambling?
The answer is no. But also…yes?
The country's gambling laws which were already full of loopholes, have become gradually revised and complicated with many rules and exceptions and rules to control those exceptions. For hard hitters travelling to Japan, knowing the ins and outs of gambling, there is an important but law-abiding time. Otherwise, you may break some rules without even knowing it and wind up with a steady fine- or worse.
Japanese penal codes are visibly against the law. As such, if you get caught gambling, you can face a serious fine. At the same time, running an illegal casino or habitual gambling can result in prison time.
Certainly, the government originally promulgated these laws in 1907. Over the years, there have been exceptions and changes, and people have started movements to legalize gambling. For hard hitters in Japan, there are a few options with a lot of rules and exceptions regulating them.
Currently, there are three major cities in the running to build casinos—Osaka, Tokyo, and Yokohama, as well as Tomakomai and Nagasaki. Though scheduled for construction, they're still far from opening their doors, some due to open in 2020. What's more, some optimists are hoping it will be open in time for the World Fair in Osaka in 2025, when Japan is expecting a tremendous influx of visitors from all over the world.
Insights Surrounding the Online Casino Market in Japan
Over the last couple of years, we've witnessed increased interest from operators across the wider gaming industry- Integrated Resorts, online casinos, and success coming from prominent Japanese platforms like Casino Secret. As we've gathered insights for land operators not only relating to the habits and thoughts of the Japanese residents but also incoming tourists, it has become clear that even in Japan – a country that seems to be homogenized – audiences are becoming visibly multi-segmented.
For instance, the tourists in search for new trends – both in Asia and more widely abroad take Japanese trends and bring them back to their own home markets knowing that:
- When something cool happens in Japan, it can be cool at home too. That's commonly practised among countries like South Korea, Thailand, China, Taiwan, where Japan's "mild" power is strong and tourism, up until pandemic times, has been booming.
For hard hitters in Japan, a few options are available, but very specific and come with many rules regulating them.
- Public Racing Sports
Currently, you are allowed to bet on some public races, known as kōei kyōgi. There are only four diverse sports where it's allowed: powerboat racing, horse racing, motorcycle racing, and bicycle racing. Local authorities regulate different aspects of gambling, like the prize pool. This allows you to get betting tickets at the ticket booths and race tracks around Japanese cities.
Tourists are guaranteed to see booths selling famous takarakuji tickets. The cities and prefectures sponsor these public lotteries, and you can find them anywhere on the streets or department stores. Similar to lotteries in Western countries, Japanese lawmakers use these takarakuji to finance public programs.
- Future Casinos
For some time, a considerable portion of the Japanese people have been moving for gambling legalization. As such, most politicians even argue that casinos could boost tourism in the country. As a tourist, it can be difficult to navigate the law's nuances and intricacies without knowing a lot about the regulations or having a grasp of the language. Unless you have a local friend to show you the ropes, you may want to read a complete Casino Secret review 2021 and stick to pachinko parlours.
It seems that with the new casino permits, gambling in Japan will become more widespread in the future. That, plus the automatic cashback system with no withdrawal conditions, which caught a lot of attention in the past 2 years.
Japan's Casino Industry Will Be Third Largest in the World
Although at present, Japan has only a few licensed casinos, forcing players to play games like roulette, slots, and blackjack on websites based in countries like Malta and the UK doesn't look bad for the future of Japanese gambling industry. That, plus the massive annual incomes brought in by Pachinko, horse racing and other legal gambling activities, only proves that Japan has a taste for placing wagers and betting.
What's more, with the novelty factor that casinos provide their hard-hitters, and while the proposed casinos are mostly aimed at improving tourism, Japan could capture the local populations' imagination, who's more likely to experience something new and exciting.
From there, once casinos have become increasingly popular within the Japanese market and lawmakers have seen the desired lift in tourism from integrated resorts, the next move is monitoring their own online casinos and profiting from the tremendous incomes they're sure to bring in.