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Why Is Gambling Criminalized in Japan?

February 2, 2023 Japan iGaming & Gambling

Except for horse racing, lottery, and Pachinko, gambling is illegal in Japan. Online casinos are prohibited in Japan. Legalizing online gambling would be a significant step forward for Japan’s economy. Because gambling was illegal in feudal Japan, gamblers had to set up gambling shops in forsaken temples or shrines on the outskirts of towns and cities. Individuals with a lower social standing and social outcasts made up the majority of the population.

In Japan, illegal gambling gangs known as the Yakuza are recognized to run illegal casinos. In addition to traditional casino games, Mahjong can be played for money, and many mahjong parlors have ties with the Yakuza to help with debt collection from defaulting players.

Yakuza is a Japanese organized crime syndicate. Politicians disdain them, and the general public fears them, so the ordinary Japanese prefers to not accept their essence. The Yakuza will not be far away if you go to any bar or mahjong pachinko parlor.

Gambling has been explicitly forbidden and policed in Japan since Chapter 23 of the Criminal Code expressly banned arranged betting or private sellers of lotto tickets – with massive penalties and jail time as deterrents. Pachinko machines are deemed “entertainment” for lawful reasons.

Tokyo has over 1,000 illegal casinos. These include not just pachinko parlors, but also mahjong parlors. Because these casinos are much smaller and less well-known than Macau’s larger casinos, it is more correct to refer to them as gambling houses. Baccarat is also popular among Japanese people. A small illegal gambling operation can easily earn $15-$20 million per year.
Pachinko is estimated to be a $200 million dollar industry on its own. Betting on football games also generates a lot of money.

Making New Yakuza Casinos Free
It is projected that if Japan approved casino gambling, it would become the world’s second largest. Operators interested in attempting to establish casinos in Japan include MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas Sands Corp, Melco Crown Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts Ltd. The casino proposal has a good chance of becoming law in the coming months. This would put Japan on track to open its first casinos by the end of 2023.

The Japanese have been pushing for the legalization of casino gambling in Japan. A legalized market would undoubtedly increase the profitability of all forms of gambling and mobile betting in Japan. Despite their support for the plan, some politicians are worried about how casino gambling will impact society negatively.. Addiction and other forms of crime may occur as a result of the passage of this bill.

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