Land-Based Casinos in Japan

Gambling for cash in Japan is illegal. Land-based casinos used to be banned, but they have certain types of sports betting that are legal. The government has legalized some forms of gambling in the country and controls most of the activities.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics played a massive part in legalizing the operation of casinos in Japan. The other factor was the stagnating economy of the country. The fact that many people who loved spending their money in casinos were only able to do that in the neighboring countries was also a loss for the government.

With the land-based casinos legalized, the gambling business in Japan is growing fast. Financial analysts predict that Japan could be among the most prominent gambling destinations in the world.

Most Popular Games Played in Casinos

Slot Games

Slot machines are the most popular casino games in Japan. They are easy and don’t need any skills to play. Games such as Pachinko are the oldest and most popular in the country. It’s a pinball machine and is not considered a form of gambling. It is used as a recreational pastime, and it’s not controlled by the government like other games. In some places, Pachinko machines have been replaced with some modern animated screens. Most people play this game to unwind after a long day. They also don’t have to win cash as they are just entertaining themselves. Players may not win money but products that may be sold for cash.

Horse Racing/Keiba

Horse racing in Japanese is known as Keiba. It’s the second most popular game after Pachinko but the most gambled of all. The races are controlled by the government, and they are held every weekend. To place bets, gamblers have to go to the venues where the races are held. The Japan Racing Association (JRA), the operating body, also has off-track betting facilities that allow one to bet without having to visit the racing venues.

There is no age restriction to watch the games, but only those above 20 years are allowed to bet. The thrill at the venues is something worth a try if you are a gambler.

Bicycle Riding (Keirin)

Bicycle racing in Japan is a big betting event that attracts many gamblers. It was started in Kitakyushu after the end of World War II. Those days it was used for gambling purposes, but today it’s also famous for athletic competitions. It involves nine cyclists who race around a velodrome for several laps to determine the winner.

The races are held all across the country and are organized by the Japan Keirin Auto-Race Foundation. To bet on the races, you visit the venues or go to off-track betting facilities.


This table game is quite common among the wealthier players in Japan. It’s one of the oldest card games in the country which has won the hearts of many. The game is easy to play and has few rules to be followed. The player who gets a total of nine or a number close to it becomes the winner. There are many types of baccarat offered that players can choose from. They include Chemin de Fer, Baccarat Banque, and Punto Banco.