While the market size of sports gambling is said to be $1 trillion, 90% of it is said to be illegal gambling, especially in Japan. One of the real thrills of sports is “prediction” such as winning and losing on your betting slip, but sports betting enhances the responsiveness of the “prediction” and can be a trigger to acquiring new sports fans.
And while watching and doing sports is incredibly popular in Japan, sports betting is not that easy to do. There are ways though. Read on to find out more about the best sports betting sites in Japan for 2023, how to find them, what to pay attention to, and much more.
In Japan, gambling is a business activity under special laws such as the Horse Racing Law, the Bicycle Racing Law, the Motor Boat Racing Law, and the Law Concerning the Implementation of Sports Promotion Voting (Football Lottery Law). Except for those that are permitted to operate as per the Criminal Code Article 35, it is illegal for gambling crimes (Criminal Code Article 185). Therefore, sports betting is illegal.
On the other hand, sports betting has high profitability and is expected to increase tax revenue. It is also said that the rational distribution of profits will be a powerful source of revenue for the sports industry such as sports organizations and teams. CyberAgent Co., Ltd. estimates that if sports betting is lifted in Japan, the market size will be up to 7 trillion yen annually, which is more than double the 2019 actual sales of the Japan Racing Association.
Article 185 of the Criminal Code stipulates that “gambling persons” will be punished. Here, “gambling” is an act in which two or more persons compete for profit or loss of property or property profit by accidental victory or defeat. Even if skill and ability affect victory or defeat, if victory or defeat is affected by even little accidental circumstances, it is considered an “accidental victory or defeat” and there is a risk that multiple people participating in gambling will lose their property, etc.
In addition, Article 186, Paragraph 2 of the Penal Code stipulates that the act of “opening a gambling hall” is a gambling opening chart guilty, and punishes those who provide a certain place for gambling as the presiding officer.
In recent years, online sports betting has become widespread, in which betting companies that have obtained business licenses for gambling overseas have opened betting sites on the Internet to enable gambling for customers around the world, including Japan. As a premise, online sports betting is also “gambling”, so if you connect to a betting site from Japan and bet money, it is assumed that part of the betting act was done in Japan, and the customer = user will bet. It is believed that the crime will be established.
The question is whether or not the gambling open-up gambling offense will be established for the business operator who opened the betting site, assuming that the gambling hall has been provided. If you evaluate the installation of a betting site server as “providing a gambling place”, if the betting company installs the server in Japan, you will be guilty of gambling openness, but you used an overseas server. In some cases, it does not seem to have provided a domestic gambling venue.
When looking for the first sports betting site in Japan, there are a few things to keep in mind. Most notably, new players should look for:
When choosing a sports betting site in Japan, make sure the operating company is clearly stated. Many bookmakers are operated by foreign companies, so if they are not reliable or safe, you may get into trouble. Therefore, when using a bookmaker to gamble safely, always look for a license.
In particular, a legal license means a business permit issued by the government when operating a bookmaker, casino, etc. The criteria for obtaining a permit vary from country to country and are only the services of companies that have passed rigorous screening. Therefore, when placing sports bets and bets through gambling sites, check not only the company information but also the existence of legal licenses.
When choosing a bookmaker, it is important to have support in Japanese. Most bookmakers are run by companies from the United States and Europe, so if you have any problems with how to use them, you need to contact us in English. However, some bookmakers also offer services in Japanese. Therefore, if you have difficulty communicating in English, choose a bookmaker that has a support system in Japanese.
It is important to choose a bookmaker in Japan that allows you to deposit and withdraw money smoothly. Depending on the bookmaker, there may be restrictions on the deposit method. For example, there are various means such as “only bank transfer is possible” and “electronic payment, virtual currency, credit card, etc. can be used”.
Also, some bookmakers may take some time to withdraw the money they make. Bookmakers with fast withdrawals will be reflected within a minimum of 24 hours, but bookmakers with slow withdrawals will take a few days. Therefore, you can enjoy sports betting comfortably by using a bookmaker that has abundant deposit methods and is quick to withdraw the winning funds.
The variety of sports you can bet on is an important criterion when choosing a sports betting site in Japan. Bookmakers allow you to enjoy gambling in a variety of sports. For example, it is possible to bet on the outcome of not only overseas sports such as football, F1 and American football, but also sports such as professional baseball, boxing and basketball in Japan.
In addition, bookmakers have services that support not only sports but also online casinos and mahjong. When choosing a bookmaker, use a bookmaker with a wide variety of sports and casino games to bet on.
Many bookmakers in Japan offer a variety of benefits for first-time users. For example, you can start without spending money on the first use, such as “First-time limited ○ yen-free service” and “Free registration bonus”.
In addition, bookmakers may hold limited-time campaigns to increase odds, and there are times when you can make money efficiently. If you want to start gambling at a good price or take advantage of campaigns to keep costs down, check for the best bonuses and promotions.
When choosing a bookmaker, it is important that you have high odds and a high limit on the amount you can bet. By setting the odds high, the amount of money you will get when the prediction is correct will be high. In addition, the high maximum amount that can be bet at one time makes it possible to aim for a lot of money.
Choose a sports betting site in Japan with high odds and betting limits, as the amount of money you will get if you win will change significantly.
Here are the main 4 steps to take in order to play with a bookmaker from Japan.
First, select the bookmaker you are going to use and register for an account. Each bookmaker has various features and functions, but when it comes to famous bookmakers that are recommended for beginners and have many Japanese users, any will do just fine.
If you want to start a bookmaker but don’t know which one to choose, there is a quick guide provided above, as well as the list of the best sports betting sites in Japan for 2023.
Bookmakers have to verify players’ identity by submitting documents with their address and name, so if you register with false information, you will not be able to withdraw funds, so please be sure to register with your real name and real address when registering.
You can start playing in 15 minutes from account registration without any advance preparation, you can deposit immediately by bank transfer, and you can also deposit by virtual currency from the virtual currency exchange.
After registering for an account, the next task is to deposit money into the account. The deposit methods that can be used vary depending on each sports betting site in Japan. There are many bookmakers that accept card deposits, but unfortunately many bookmakers cannot actually use cards issued in Japan because they are restricted from being used on overseas gambling sites. Therefore, when using a bookmaker, it is common to deposit via an online payment account such as ecoPayz or MuchBetter.
In most cases, 3,000 yen is the minimum deposit amount, so most people who actually start their betting career at a Japanese bookmaker have deposited at least 20,000 to 100,000. If you are an advanced user, you can deposit hundreds of thousands to millions of yen at a time, but about 50,000 yen is the average place.
Above all, if you deposit and withdraw many times, the fee will be wasteful, so you can save the fee as a result by putting in a large amount of funds of about tens of thousands of yen first.
Once you’ve made a deposit in the bookmaker, bet on your favorite sport and enjoy sports betting to your heart’s content. Bettors in Japan are betting on various sports competitions around the world such as football, tennis, baseball, and rugby, and you can enjoy betting on your favorite sports around the world, such as the 12 Japanese professional baseball teams. For example, in the case of football, you can bet on European football such as the Premier League and Champions League, J League (J1 to J3), ACL, and Nadeshiko League!
If you win your bet and win, the next step is to withdraw your profits. The specific withdrawal method is the same as the deposit method, and the available methods are different for each bookmaker. A few hours or days after you apply for withdrawal, your withdrawal will be reflected in your bank account or your payment service.
There are many sports lovers in Japan. Some people bet on the cheer, while others make a profit by predicting the winner. Here are the most popular sports to bet on in Japan:
Football is the most popular sport in the world, and no one doubts that football is the most popular at sports betting sites in Japan. About 70% of all legal and illegal betting worldwide comes from betting on football.
The biggest gathering in football is the FIFA World Cup, which is held once every four years. It is said that each World Cup tournament will place bets of more than $260 million.
Baseball has become a popular sport, especially in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States. In Europe, most people know the sport of baseball, but they don't know the rules and have never played. After all, the competition population is large in Japan, and if the competition is strong, the popularity in that country will naturally increase.
Therefore, the result is that baseball is the second most frequently bet on sport by the Japanese.
There are only a limited number of bookmakers that offer horse racing in Japan, but horse racing is ranked high on sites where you can bet. 17 countries in the world have been certified as Part I (highest) in the world horse racing rating, naturally, Japanese horse racing is rated Part I. In addition, JRA betting ticket sales are among the highest in the world.
When it comes to bookmaker horse racing bets, the odds are often better than the JRA. And it may be a little unpleasant for the public gambling racer to save the information of the person who bought the betting ticket/get the refund and provide the information to the National Taxation Bureau if necessary, so they bet at the bookmaker. The number of people who are doing it is increasing.
What was a little surprising was table tennis, the fifth most popular sports bet in Japan. Many people are betting on table tennis in the Japanese market. It is expected that the popularity of betting is due to the fact that Japan is strong in this sport, but another reason is that even after the new coronavirus spread all over the world, table tennis games were played frequently. It seems that the number of bets has also increased.
By the way, the same thing happened to esports bets all over the world, and although it’s still under development, we should keep an eye on future changes!
The most popular sport in the United States is football, but it has seen an increasing popularity in Japan as well. In addition to American football, there are also Canadian and Australian rules football. Betting on the NFL accounts for about half of all sports betting in the United States, and the Super Bowl is the most popular sports betting event. At the 2020 Super Bowl, 26 million people bet.
Basketball and tennis are stable and popular, probably because many people have played in their school days. Michael Jordan is said to have caused a basketball boom in Japan, and the playing population is large, which is thought to be the result of basketball fans' bets.
Tennis is one of the most popular "individual sports" on the planet, with about 1,500 tournaments and about 93,000 games played each year, in addition to the famous Wimbledon Championships. In other words, the fact that there is always a match that you can bet on will encourage you to bet.
Japan's cricket competition population is about 3,500, which is a sport that is not much familiar to Japanese people, but in fact it is a popular sport with a large competition population worldwide, mainly in India, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
It originated in England, where a ball is hit with a bat that looks like a shortened boat oar, and is said to be the prototype of baseball. Many fans bet on such crickets, and the 2019 Cricket World Cup India-Bangladesh match alone was betting an astonishing amount of about 2.2 billion yen on one UK betting platform.
There are many different types of bets available to Japanese bettors, and instead of naming them all, the most popular types of bets will be presented below.
It’s a simple bet that predicts which one will win. These odds are always available for winning or losing sports matches and are the most common betting method. Different notations are used depending on the bookmaker, such as “win/loss”, “1×2 full-time”, and “money line”.
Also, in sports such as golf where a large number of contestants are expected to win, a specific player is picked up and the bet method of “which one has the better results and time” is called a victory or defeat prediction.
Over-under is a betting method that you can expect from the two choices of whether the result is higher (over) or lower (under) than the set score. One of the typical betting methods that can be bet on most sports.
For example, in football, odds such as “does the total score of both teams in the match exceed 1.5 points” are set. In this case, if the total score is 2 goals or more, the prediction will be correct, and you will receive a dividend. On the other hand, if the total score is 1 goal or less, the prediction is wrong.
A betting method that predicts the result by adding a handicap to the result of the game. The names used mainly in football betting are Asian (Asian handicap) and European (European handicap).
When the top team and the bottom team play against each other in a football league match, the probability that the top team will win is naturally high. Therefore, each bookmaker sets its own handicap.
For example, suppose the top team has a handicap of -1.5 points and the bottom team has a handicap of +1.5 points, and the actual result of this match is “2-1” and the top team wins. However, if the handicap is reflected, the result will be “0.5-2.5”, and the person who bet +1.5 points on the lower team will win.
In competitions such as tennis, baseball, tennis, basketball, and rugby, it is also called Point Spread. Each Japanese bettor makes his or her own judgment, and the settings are different, so you can enjoy it more by comparing and analyzing odds.
Double result is a method of predicting and betting from a combination of “win/loss result at the end of the first half” and “final win/loss result”. You can bet on sports competitions where the match is divided into the first half and the second half.
A double result has many choices and it is difficult to correctly predict it, but the joy when hitting is the best.
Double chance is a betting method that predicts an outcome from 3 choices with an irregular pattern of winning and losing odds. The odds are basically set low because it is easier to win than you would expect to win.
Odd/Even is a betting method that predicts even or odd numbers. You can bet on numbers such as the number of points or goals scored.
For example, in a football match result, the number of goals, corner kicks, yellow cards, shots on goal, etc. can be either even or odd. It’s almost a luck bet, but it’s one of the main bets in Japan, so knowing it will give you more fun.
Correct score is a betting method that predicts the score at the end of the match. Although it is simple, the difficulty level is high, so basically high odds are set.
Scorer Markets is a general term for betting methods that predict the players who will score in team sports. The main options for football are as follows:
It is a perfect bet for Japanese bettors who want to dig deeper into the sport, such as analyzing and predicting the condition of individual players and member formation.
Outrights are winning odds that predict the final outcome of a season or tournament. Odds will be announced before the opening and will be closed just before the tournament or the season starts. After the season has progressed to some extent, the odds will be recalculated according to the situation at that time.
The simplest is to predict the winning team in international competitions in all sports such as football, baseball and rugby, and league games in each country. There are also American sports districts and conferences such as MLB and NBA, professional baseball Central League, and Pacific League winning odds.
Single betting is a method of betting on only one particular match or race. It’s a simple bet of choosing one of the two options (three in football), so the difficulty is low and the odds are basically set low.
Multi-bet (combination bet) is a betting method that combines two or more matches to enhance final odds. With multi-bet, you can get a payout if you hit some or all of them.
As the number of bets to be combined increases, the amount of dividends will increase, so it is known as a betting method that increases the multiplier. It’s more difficult than a single bet, but the return on hit is higher.
New betting enthusiasts in Japan should know how to calculate the “betting margin”. In further text, it will be explained what a “betting margin” is, what the best odds are, and how to calculate your betting margin.
Sports betting sites in Japan accept bets on the markets they offer and adjust their odds to make a profit. Betting has the word “true odds”. These are odds that do not fairly represent the actual statistical probability of the event being bet on in order for the bookmaker to make a profit. The difference caused by this “true odds” is in the interests of the bookmaker.
The most obvious example is the coin toss – whether the back of the coin comes out or the front. If you bet $10 each with a friend and play, you will either win $10 if you predict correctly, or lose $10 if your friend wins. Under these conditions, both are the same, things go on at the actual odds (0.5) and there is no advantage to each other. Markets and bets under these conditions are called 100% markets and 100% books. In other words, the 100% market is a situation with zero margin.
If you bet with a person (bookmaker) who is trying to make a profit by betting a coin toss, the amount of money that the market percentage is 100% or more is the size of the margin that the bookmaker has for the bettor. This is how all bookmakers in Japan benefit. What is important for a bettor is what variation margin the bookmaker has. This will determine the value of the odds and the profits of the bettor.
Betting beginners in Japan may wonder, “Why do I bet on only one result and also care about the multiplier over the other results?” The concept of betting value can be seen by understanding the market as a whole, the multiplication factor for all outcomes. The higher the margin, the less valuable it is to the bettor, and the margin is the best way to compare odds.
There are many sports betting sites in Japan and bettors may be surprised at the difference in margins that each bookmaker has. Take, for example, a 1×2 (predicted win/loss) bet in the Premier League. One bookmaker has a 110% market, or 10% margin. The industry average is 6%, but some may offer a 2% margin. Those who want the best betting will need to know the numbers.
Bonuses and promotions written on the sports betting site in Japan are, so to speak, benefits to the player. If you create an account and meet the conditions, the stated amount will be added to the “bonus/free bet balance” of the account.
This bonus balance is managed separately from the funds you actually deposit. Of course, you can use it for betting, so if you win, you will get a prize, and if you lose, your bonus balance will decrease. However, since the bonus is only a fictitious fund, you cannot withdraw it immediately after receiving it.
However, if you clear the conditions set by the bookmaker (such as betting a certain amount or more), the bonus you receive will change to real money. If you change to real money, you will be able to withdraw just like real money. For example, if you first get a $100 bonus and use it to practice your betting, and you still have $80 in your bonus when you meet the criteria, that $80 is a complete gift from the bookmaker.
From the bookmaker’s point of view, bonuses and free bets are just promotions that are prepared to get new players to register, but regardless of that intent, they can eventually be monetized. Bookmakers in Japan offer three main types of benefits for new players starting from:
A new deposit bonus is literally a bonus given to your first deposit. After creating an account with a sports betting site in Japan, it will be granted according to the deposit amount at the time of the first deposit.
For example, the bonus “100% First Deposit Bonus Up to $100” means if you deposit up to $100, another $100 of the initial deposit will be given as a bonus. In other words, if your first deposit is $50, you will get a bonus of $50, which is 100% of that amount, and you can start playing with the actual deposit of $50 + bonus of $50 = $100. However, even if you deposit $500 for the first time, the bonus limit is $100, so $500 + $100 = $600.
Such new deposit bonuses are very common and are offered by many bookmakers in Japan.
Alongside the first deposit bonus, the benefits given to your first bet are common. Create an account, make a deposit and bet on any sporting odds. Then, the same amount, double amount, or the specified amount will be reflected in the balance as a bonus for the very first bet. Alternatively, if the first bet is missed, the same amount as the bet will be refunded.
Very rarely, some bookmakers offer bonuses just by creating a new account. When you register as a member, the specified bonus will be credited to your bonus balance. This can be either free money used for further betting, free bets, or similar. There is no need to deposit money to claim such bonuses but conditions for obtaining them are quite high.
Sometimes, you must use the Bonus Code correctly to receive the bonus. A bonus code is like a reference number to indicate your intention and qualification to receive a bonus, and is usually a combination of 5 to 10 alphanumerical characters. Also called a promotion code.
It is difficult to generalize because the correspondence is different for each bookmaker, but for example, “If you want to receive a new deposit bonus, please enter” ND100 “in the bonus code field of the deposit screen” or “50” in order to participate in the bonus promotion. If you want to receive a bonus, you must follow the instructions.
Instructions on how to receive these bonuses can be found on the site in an easy-to-understand manner if any promotions are available at the time you create your account. If there is nothing in the prominent place, you do not need to enter anything even if there is a promotion code input field on the account registration screen. If you’re wondering what to enter in this promotion code field, skip it. If you are the type to enter the bonus code on the deposit screen, after creating an account, enter the specified code when depositing for the first time to complete the procedure.
Register and deposit according to the conditions specified by the bookmaker to claim bonuses. What is paid as a bonus or free bet is, so to speak, fictitious money. Of course you can use it for betting, but you can’t withdraw without betting at all. The funds you actually deposit are basically free to withdraw at any time, but some conditions must be met in order to be able to withdraw the bonus in the same way.
The conditions vary depending on the bookmaker (type of bonus promotion), but usually there is a rule in the form of “Please bet n times the bonus amount on odds with a magnification of n times or more”. These conditions are called Rollover Requirements.
Rollover means “rotate” or “roll”, and in the world of betting, betting money is referred to as “rolling”. For example, if you have $100 and spend a total of $100 while betting on various odds such as $10 for A odds, $25 for B odds, $5 for C odds, etc., you roll over once. Please note that using up $100 to zero balance is not a rollover, but the total amount spent on betting. (So, for example, after one rollover, the initial $100 may have been reduced to $50, or it may have increased to $200).
In short, this condition for bonuses is “use the funds (bonus received) for betting the specified amount”. And if these conditions are met, the bonuses remaining at that time, and all the prizes earned from the bonuses, will be converted from fictitious money to cash that can actually be withdrawn.
In Japan, there are usually many ways to add or withdraw funds to your betting account. Each payment method has its own strengths and weaknesses, and some people have clear preferences that need to be considered. Due to the nature of gambling law in Japan, there is no local payment method. This section describes the most common payment methods.
✅ Debit Cards and Credit Cards – Most sports betting sites accept debit and credit card payments. Credit cards are typically from major card issuers such as VISA and MasterCard. This method is not the fastest withdrawal method, but it is one of the more reliable options.
✅ Electronic Wallet – Electronic wallet is a very popular trading method on online gambling sites, both in Japan and around the world. This is because it is very easy to use, processes transactions quickly, and has security advantages. Electronic wallets such as Neteller and Skrill can handle withdrawals the fastest.
✅ Bank Transfer – Bank transfer is usually the slowest way to deposit or withdraw funds into your account. However, this method is the safest method. There are some operators who charge a fee to use bank transfers and the minimum transaction size may be higher than other options. Be that as it may, due to legal complications in the country, bank transfers should be avoided.
✅ Cryptocurrencies – Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are becoming more and more accepted by major sports betting sites in Japan. These offer the opportunity to make quick and private transactions. However, the crypto market is seeing a rapid decline in recent months, therefore many bettors opt to use other means of payment in Japan. Some still use cryptocurrencies with the hope of earning more and then selling it for thousands of dollars.
|Payment Method||Fee||Minimum Deposit Amount||Minimum Withdrawal Amount|
|Debit and credit cards||0%||¥115||¥172|
|Cryptocurrency||0%||0.00003 BTC||0.000045 BTC|
In Japan, only special forms of gambling are legal under special laws, such as the Horse Racing Law, the Bicycle Racing Law, the Motor Boat Racing Law, and the Law Concerning the Implementation of Sports Promotion Voting (Football Lottery Law). All other forms of gambling are illegal.
There are no Japanese-based online casinos and bookmakers therefore gamblers need to look for foreign gaming houses. Finding licensed houses will always be safe.
There are no Japanese-based online casinos and bookmakers therefore gamblers need to look for foreign gaming houses. Finding licensed houses will always be safe.
The state does not set any limits as the law prohibits gambling, therefore, the only deposit limits that Japanese gamblers will find will be individual bookmaker limits.
In general, there is a tax for gambling winnings in Japan that Japanese nationals have to pay when gambling on legal activities. The tax is paid for winnings over 500,000 yen. For online sports betting, no tax should be paid.
Bookmakers are always quick to transfer the winnings onto your betting account. From here, a bettor will choose a withdrawal method to collect the winnings. The most recommended option is e-wallets, which usually take 24 hours to process withdrawals.
Japanese bettors can access many sports betting sites in the country and each bookmaker will offer different bonuses, odds, and services in general. Finding a bookmaker with such offers that best suit your needs would be the goal.
Bookmakers in Japan offer various sports to bet on, including football, basketball, volleyball, tennis, rugby, cricket, baseball, table tennis, eSports, handball, and many more.
Football is the most popular sport to bet on in Japan, like in most countries around the world. However, baseball and American football are incredibly popular as well.
Bookmakers in Japan can offer three types of odds – decimal, fractional, and American odds. Depending on the type, the chances of an outcome happening will be shown. Many bookmakers will offer conversion of types of odds. Each possibility is represented in odds, and by multiplying the odds by the stake, the bettor will get the final winnings.
Some sports betting sites in Japan will offer free bets. These can be claimed either when registering or when betting for a longer time. Free bets provide betting without investment but under certain conditions.
Players in Japan must register first with the bookmaker before claiming any bonuses. The sign-up bonus is immediately awarded to the new user, either after the first deposit or by using a promo code.
Although many forms of gambling are still illegal, the country has provided gambling addiction help under public health insurance.