Industry News
Industry News

The Development of Online Gambling in Japan

Compared to many other countries, the gambling laws in Japan are extremely strict, which also applies to online casino. For the most part, such gaming activities in Japan are prohibited. Those who participate in gambling will be fined with the maximum fine of 500,000 Yen (approximately $3,800 USD). On the other hand, any gaming business entity that makes a profit off of operating gaming facilities may be imprisoned for 5 months or more.
For the past ten years, groups interested in gaming have worked tirelessly to amend the current laws, which have been ridiculously obsolete and not in tune with the times. For example, in 2018, the Japanese government passed a law permitting the construction of a large integrated resort casino which may include hotels, shopping malls, and other entertainment facilities.
The government hopes that the new law will not only promote the tourism industry, but in turn will also stimulate the economic growth of Japan. Currently, the government plans to grant 3 permits (at most) in the initial phase of construction, with many casino business entities around the world already showing great interest in making an investment.  
Obstacles on the Road of Development
During the process of constructing an integrated resort casino, there are a plethora of obstacles. For example, the locals and the legislators, in consideration of the chain reactions that may occur to the society and the economy, are both being relatively conservative on this matter. As a result, these arguments have cast a shadow over the promotion of the ambitious gambling investment project.   
On the other hand, the control of pachinko prize exchange centers is also an issue that must be discussed. The Japanese public has always loved pachinko. Although pachinko is not categorized as gambling in nature, its cash and prize exchanges has brought the issue of gambling addiction to the forefront, further highlighting the necessity to strengthen the supervision on prize exchange centers.     
In summary, casinos in Japan are still in the midst of a change, with many factors affecting the growth and development of the gaming industry in the next few years.
Growth of Online Gambling in Japan
Despite these restrictions, the industry of online casinos in Japan still had a substantial growth. For example, a comparison of the total number of registered online players between 2019 and 2020 indicated a tripling of growth rate within just a year. In addition, the profits made by the business entities also demonstrated a trend of rapid growth.
A success like this is partially attributed to some enticing factors, such as cash rewards and other promotional offers, as well as the addition of more withdraw/payment methods. In recent years, some sites that have popped up that are tailor-made to offer Japanese players the best online casino trading tips.
Such growth is also credited to a much friendlier update of the current laws as well as the new supervisory manual promulgated in 2019, which contain a section clearly addressing how business entities should expand its business.
One thing worthy of note is that Japan is not the only country with a continuously growing online entertainment industry. Other countries, such as Australia, Canada, and the U.K. have all shown significant growth in recent years. However, when comparing these markets to the Japanese market, the growth rate of the Japanese market is still much faster than the rest.
Even though the online entertainment industry is still illegal in Japan, there are still some quite interesting features during the process of its development, which includes:
1. Potential Economic Benefits: Give it a thought, how does game of chance change the Japanese economy? The government is very carefully considering the added bonus of prime tax and employment opportunities that is of much attention in terms of legalizing online casinos. Even though the road of online gaming is plagued with all sorts of social risks, the lure of high economic growth is too attractive for the Japanese government to miss out on. Will they succumb to the pressure of potential traps and give up, or will they ignore the risk and continue with promoting the market? Only time will tell.         
2. Advancement of Technology: Through mobile gaming and livestream technology, the new ground that the online entertainment industry of Japan will be able to break is something that all relevant industries around the world are closely anticipating. As a result of the advancements in technology, the entry threshold has been lowered. We are keeping a close eye on how Japan will embrace this exciting revolutionary times, waiting for booming online gaming industry of Japan to shine.   
3. Popularity of Esports: With the development of Esports in Japan, it can indirectly become the pioneer for the future prospect of the online gaming field. This industry, with its booming development, may someday facilitate the integration of the virtual and physical gaming fields, guiding the gaming industry to grow into an extremely unique and immersive online casino extravaganza. 
The Market Scale of Japan’s Online Gambling Industry
Online gaming has always been a bit of a mysterious industry in Japan. Strictly speaking, online gaming is actually illegal in Japan at this moment, which means that until the deadline, there are still no relevant official data on its actual market scale. However, the lack of data still cannot cover up the fact that such industry has immense potential and prosperity in Japan! In fact, the online gaming market has reached an astonishing 66.7 billion USD worldwide in 2020, with the growth/profits attained from the Asian markets close to the very top.
Japan most definitely has the potential to become the trailblazer in online gaming among other countries around the world. In fact, the Japanese government may even be advocating for the legalization of the gaming-related industry very soon. Considering the average income of the Japanese public as well as its rein of being the most popular travel destination across the globe, if the Japanese government can effectively manage the pros and cons of the gaming industry, then the demand for gaming services within the borders of Japan will likely have an even bigger surge. 
On the other hand, Japan has always been a country that heavily devotes its resources into advancing its technology. Therefore, Japan may very well become the next hotspot for online gaming business entities, with its online casinos possessing the most advanced, state-of-the art gaming platforms.
Although the online entertainment industry of Japan is shrouded with uncertainty, the if the legalization of gambling goes smoothly as well as being under proper supervision, it may very well become an important force that cannot be ignored on the global market.  
Due to its enormous potential for growth, many people eagerly hopes to see the legalization of gambling becoming closer to reality, as Japan will then become a key country for the development.