Our complete guide to the best betting sites in Japan. Our experts review the top 5 sportsbooks and their pros/cons, trivia about gambling in Japan, and the most popular sports to bet on in the country.
Japan is one of the most developed countries known for its rich culture, tea parties, and calligraphy. The nation which became a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy in 1947 has the highest expectancy rate of 81 years.
TOP Betting Sites in Japan
Japan ranks second after Hong Kong and is slightly above Switzerland and Singapore. When it comes to gambling, Japan has complex gambling laws that prohibit nearly all forms of gambling except some. This has, however, not stopped the nation from producing avid punters.
Japanese are popular for playing pachinko and placing online sports bets on offshore bookies. This read will give you an exhaustive list of betting sites in japan and features to look out for when selecting top bookmakers in Japan.
Bet365 is one of the most popular betting sites in Japan. The gambling website started operating in 2000 after its formation by Denise Coates. However, most people don’t know that Denis Coates co-owns the company with Peter and John Coates, her brothers. Their passion for gambling has seen Bet365 provide punters with the best gambling services, which has, in turn, helped the company grow popular over the years. It has multiple subsidiaries, including Hillside (New Media Holdings) Limited.
The main reason why Japanese punters prefer Bet365 is because it offers access to basketball, football, and golf events. It is also the best option if you want to have complete access to a full range of markets. In addition to actual sports, Bet365 offers eSports betting services that allow punters to place Dota2 and CS: GO bets.
- Offers live statistics.
- Allows live betting.
- Has cash-out.
- Provides competitive odds.
- Takes too much time to load.
The platform called Pinnacle is an ideal site to place Outright bets and gamble on live events. The bookie has over 20 years of experience with a reputation for providing punters with satisfactory betting services. Magnus Hedman owns Pinnacle, whereas Impyrial Holdings Ltd operates the Japan platform. Pinnacle holds a Curacao licence under Ragnarok Corporation N.V., which means it is legitimate.
The main merit of being a Pinnacle member is enjoying a wide range of sports. Pinnacle covers all major football and basketball events. It also provides gamblers with quality live betting markets. Lastly, Pinnacle is among the few bookies with a live scores app, making it very competitive.
- Offers live streaming.
- Has bonuses for Japanese customers.
- Offers cash-out.
- It is multilingual.
- Does not offer competitive live odds.
22Bet is one of the most dominant sportsbooks that has been operational since 2017. The site is based in Cypress and holds multiple gambling licences, including a Curacao licence and a Kahnawake licence. In Japan, TechSolutions (CY) Group Limited manages and operates 22Bet. That is in case you are wondering who is behind the exemplary performance of the site.
The bookie is prominent for its fantastic list of pre-match and live events. These events are updated daily to ensure you don’t miss a match. Apart from having a comprehensive sports section, 22Bet has numerous betting features. For instance, the gambling site allows in-play betting. It also offers live streaming services to punters, which means you can watch live events on your 22Bet account.
- Allows cash-out of bets.
- Has live chat.
- Provides live statistics to Japanese punters.
- Has a comprehensive live scores section.
- Offers a few payment methods.
If you are wondering where to bet in Japan, try 888sport. The bookie was founded in 2008 by 888 Holdings. A company with its headquarters in Gibraltar. 888sport is fast loading with amazing features that makes it accommodating. That explains why most Japanese gamblers flock to the site whenever they gamble.
Once you sign up on 888sport, you can access football, basketball, and golf events. Additionally, you have access to eSports and virtual sports matches. Each match has a full range of odds whose formats you can change at any time. Even though 888sport does not offer Japanese, it has enough languages for punters.
- Has a bet builder.
- Guarantees the best-fixed odds.
- Provides live statistics to punters.
- Offers the best-betting sites bonus offers.
- Does not allow cryptocurrencies.
Betway is an established bookie that went live in 2006. The sportsbook operates under its parent company, SGHC Limited. In Japan, Betway is managed by Betway Limited. A company with a Maltese and UKGC licence. The bookie holds an eCOGRA certificate and a certificate from International Betting Integrity Association which implies that Betway is trustworthy.
Since its formation, Betway has offered punters in Japan exciting betting services. The bookie also has one of the best online casinos to play games. But before signing up, you should know that Betway is multilingual with multiple contacts. It is also the best site to place eSports bets.
- Available in Japanese.
- Offers multiple promotions.
- Allows Outrights betting.
- Guarantees competitive odds.
- Has a few live markets.
Why Choose Online Betting in Japan
Betting might be semi-regulated in Japan with rigid gambling rules, but the country is still the best place to gamble online. Japan has a long list of offshore online betting sites fitted with useful features. Your only job is picking the ideal bookie. Check the details below to learn more about why you should choose online betting in Japan.
Is Online Betting Legal in Japan?
Online betting is not legal in Japan. The country lacks specific laws restricting Japanese punters from placing bets online.
Did you know that
- Japan has several international gambling sites.
- The government does not restrict its citizens from Pachinko gambling.
- Most local Japanese bookies offer the Japanese language.
- Japanese lacks licensed local bookies.
- Japan does not have any legal land-based casinos.
Are there restrictions on Japanese players by some bookmakers?
Even though Japan houses a long list of offshore sportsbooks, not all bookies accept Japanese gamblers. Some restrict Japanese punters due to the uncertain online gambling laws.
Gambling Facts for Japanese Players
Here are some of the main gambling facts you should know before you decide to start online betting in Japan.
- Currency – The official currency in Japan is the Japanese yen or JPY
- Population – Japan has a population of 125.8 million. The population has been declining since 2009.
- Active players – The number of active players in Japan is 15 million, which is quite high compared to neighbouring countries.
- Regulatory authority – Japan does not have a designated regulatory authority in charge of gambling.
- Licensed gambling products – The main gambling products licensed in Japan include lotteries.
- Types of operators – Japan has both online and offline operators.
How to Choose the Right Bookmaker in Japan?
Choosing the right online betting site in Japan is not an easy task. That is because nearly all the available betting platforms are suitable. However, by looking at the following features, you should find the ideal betting platform.
- Bet Builder
When selecting the top bookmakers in Japan, you need to focus on a bookie with a bet builder. A bet builder is a betting product that conveniently allows you to place accumulator bets.
All suitable betting sites in Japan offer cash-out. The feature allows you to either mitigate a loss or increase your profit. That is because, with cash-out, you can withdraw your stake from a continuing bet.
- In-play Betting
The only way you can gamble on an event as it continues is if a bookie offers in-play betting. With this in mind, consider a sportsbook that offers punters access to live matches. Also, make sure that the matches have many live markets and competitive live odds. With those features, you will enjoy in-play gambling.
- Live streaming
Live streaming is an important function, especially if you are a big fan of placing live bets. The function assists with live betting and ensures the bookie is entertaining. After all, with the function, you can watch matches live in the comfort of your bookie.
Bonuses for Japanese Players
You will be impressed to learn that the bookies available in the country offer bonuses for Japanese players. As a result, punters can access bonuses such as a welcome perk and promotions for existing clients. The former is for new customers, whereas the latter is for clients with active accounts. Some of the most common bonuses for Japanese players include free bets, cash-out, and deposit bonuses. You will also find a bookie that offers a no deposit bonus if you are lucky.
Most Popular Sports to Bet on in Japan
Japan is a country that embraces different types of sports. Punters in the region adore field sports and indoor sports alike. With this in mind, below is a list of the most popular sports to bet on in Japan:
- Horse racing
Mobile Betting in Japan
Mobile betting is one of the most common gambling activities in Japan. This is possible because sportsbooks offer Japanese punters iOS and Android betting apps. To use the applications, you just need to download and install the apps on your phone. Besides, bookies have mobile websites. These are the platforms you can launch using your smartphone browser. Thanks to browser-based mobile websites, you can place pre-match and live bets. Additionally, you can punt on eSports and virtual sports so long as they are available on the bookie you are using.
Are Online Casinos Popular in Japan?
It is vital to note that Japanese players love online casino gaming apart from sports betting. Since they are already conversant with pachinko, a popular slot machine game, it is right to say that the most famous online casino game in Japan is video slots. Additionally, the Japanese love playing table games like poker, blackjack, baccarat, and bingo. These are available to play for free and with real money. If you are an expert gambler, you will be thrilled to learn that online casinos in Japan offer live dealer games. These are modern gaming solutions that come with croupiers.
Supported Payment Methods
Being one of the most progressive nations worldwide, Japanese bookies have various payment methods. First, punters can transact online using dedicated e-wallets such as WebMoney, ecoPayz, and Jeton. Moreover, Japanese sportsbooks offer safe mobile payment solutions like Rakuten Pay and LINE Pay. If you find these methods less ideal, you can opt for MuchBetter.
Those who prefer card payment methods to e-wallets should know that sportsbooks in Japan offer JCB. Lastly, punters can use Jbanq, a local bank transfer method offered by various bookmakers in the country. Note that the deposit and withdrawal limits in Japan bookmakers depend on the payment methods. The same applies to the time it will take you to complete your transactions.
Japan taxes any winnings above 500.000 ¥. However, if you win anything below that, the government will let you keep your entire earnings. The winnings are taxed as personal income, which means you have to include them when filing returns. But you should know that taxing applies to local bookies. If you gamble using an offshore sportsbook and win, you will not be taxed regardless of the amount.
Must I have an account to bet on sports in Japan?
Yes, you must have a sportsbook account to bet on sports in the country. That is because, without an account, you cannot deposit cash in your account for actual betting.
Do Japanese bookmakers allow Japanese punters to gamble using JPY?
Yes, many local and foreign bookies allow punters to gamble using JPY. JPY is the main currency in Japan.
Are there any sportsbooks in Japan that are available in the Japanese language?
Some bookies display Japanese as the default language if you open them in the country. Others require you to switch languages.
Which is the most popular betting market in Japan and why?
The most popular betting market in Japan is Outrights. The market offers punters competitive odds that you can barely find on other markets like Match Winner.
Do I need to provide accurate details while registering for a Japanese sportsbook?
You need to provide accurate information when registering for a sportsbook account in Japan. If you fail to do so, your account will not be verified. The operator requires the information to match the details on your documents to verify.
How long does it take to register for an account in Japan?
It will take less than 5 minutes to register for an account in Japan. The bookies have simple registration steps, and the process is generally easy.
Must I be from Japan to gamble on any available bookmakers in the country?
You don’t need to be from Japan to gamble on any available bookmakers. Instead, you just need to have a valid account.
Japan is an advanced country with complex gambling laws. As indicated above, the nation does not allow all forms of gambling but just a few. However, that has not stopped foreigners from providing punters with some of the best online gambling sites. The country houses multiple gambling platforms, most of which are listed above. This piece has also included vital information to help you know about Japan and its gambling scene.