Hero Mobile Countries Japan

Japan online sports betting laws

Sport is extremely popular in Japan. Baseball, soccer and, unsurprisingly, sumo are watched by millions across the country and betting on those sports is a key part of the enjoyment. Factor in other authorized forms of gambling, such as the state lottery and pari-mutuel betting and you begin to understand just how big betting is.

General and online gambling laws in Japan

Legislation and gambling laws
Pachinko gambling is widespread
Online betting in Japan

Legalized gambling and lottery in Japan

Lottery has existed here since around 1630 but was banned in 1842. The majority of our current gambling laws stem from 1907 legislation where lottery remained prohibited. In 1937, war concern left our government with an urgent need for funds. In response, they passed the Temporary Funds Adjustment Act (TFAA) of 1937 which created a national lottery. While repealed the following year, the same emergency need for funds followed World War II. This created another national lottery beginning in October 1945.

The legal basis for allowing permanent lotteries came about with two statues. The ability to legalise it is included in the Government Finance Act (Act No. 109 of 1948). The Lottery Voucher Act (Act No. 144 of 1948) did just that – effective 12 July 1948. We abolished the government ran lottery in 1954 putting it in the hands of our local governments. In 1964, we moved to regulate lottery nationally and created the Japan Lottery Association.

Today, authorized lotteries are called takarakuji (宝くじ). These lotteries are the most popular form of legal Japanese gambling. For those speaking our language you can learn all about them at the official takarakuji website. Other lotteries (not mentioned) are run by banks, charities and by prefectures or major cities.

The takarakuji lotteries are strictly considered an amusement by Japanese law. This means there are no age limits or taxes owed on winnings. Even children can purchase tickets. Also by law, you must be a bona fide resident of Japan to collect a prize. Tickets are not sold abroad.

Nationwide Japanese lotteries (Takarakuji)

The year-end jumbo lottery – (Nenmatsu Jumbo Takarakuji) – is the largest lottery not only in Japan but in all of Asia. Tickets costing ¥300 are pre-printed so the exact number of winners is known in advanced. Tickets use numbers 0-9 for its 6 numbers and also has a group number (1-68). The drawing is held on New Year’s Eve. For 2012, there were 68 first place winners of 400 million yen who had the exact match 195280-61. The 204 winners of 30 million yen are those who held one before (195279-61), one after (195281-61) and all correct except the bonus (195280-XX). There are smaller prizes for third, fourth, fifth and sixth place.

Five game types legalized for betting

Sports toto
Public sports – Kōei kyōgi
Bicycle racing (Keirin)
Motorcycle racing (Ōto Rēsu)
Powerboat racing (kyōtei)