Due to the future opening of casinos in Japan, experts predict that the country is likely headed to being the third-largest land-based gambling market. Japan will follow closely behind Las Vegas and Macau, which take first and second positions, respectively.
That said, poker will probably not be the main reason for this. The game isn’t popular on the islands, even though NaoyaKihara had put it on the map in 2012 after winning a gold bracelet in Japan’s first World Series of Poker.Live Poker Legislation in Japan
Most forms of gambling have been illegal in Japan except for Pachinko, lottery, and race betting. According to Japan’s Penal Code, participating or facilitating other forms of gambling aside from the ones mentioned above is punishable by law.
The legal forms of betting generate almost $400 billion dollars every year. Now imagine if more forms of betting were allowed; Japan’s gambling industry is clearly a gold mine.
Japanese gamblers have to outsource poker gambling services because live poker rooms and casinos are not legal in Japan’s territories. Japanese gamblers who enjoy poker do so by playing for prizes like services or commodities to avoid the concept of betting. As you know, any game that involves money exchanging hands is considered to be gambling.
An excellent example of this downplayed version of poker is evident during Japan’s open tour. Winners are usually granted travel packages to APPT events in Asia.
In 2016, things began to change because the Japanese government lifted the ban that prohibited the operation of casinos. Later in 2018, the government unveiled the IR bill that eased the restrictions on poker games.
The integrated bill authorized games that guaranteed fairness to gamblers. For this to make sense, the bill further stipulated that acquaintances were not allowed to sit at the same table. In every poker room, it would be the dealer’s role to select players who should join a specific game.
When integrated resort casinos open, operators are required to introduce an entrance fee for locals. This way, the opening of these casinos will not only provide citizens with a new form of entertainment but also create jobs and boost tourism.Live Poker Venues in Japan
There is a fair number of private live poker games that get frequented by foreigners. There are also underground poker casinos run by the Yakuza. Obviously, there are illegal gambling activities; serious criminal offenses that warrant participants to pay a big fine, or go to jail.
If you get caught twice participating in illegal gambling activities, you will be required to pay a $100,00 fine, or serve at least, a two-year jail term.
Since all poker games involving cash are highly risky to play in Japan, games and tournaments that grant prizes have grown popular. Many individuals participate in Japan’s Open Poker Tour and the AJPC (All Japan Poker Championship). Any operator that wants to launch a poker game has to avoid offering winners money to circumvent Japanese gambling laws.Online Poker Legislation in Japan
Technically, both physical and online gambling is illegal in Japan. There is not one online casino in Japan that legally offers poker here. The 1907 law on betting denies any gambling operators, offline, or online the license to operate. No one is authorized to own an online casino website within Japan’s territories.
That said, the law doesn’t particularly prohibit operators to run an online poker casino. Additionally, the government doesn’t block gamblers from accessing them. After all, there are IP filtering firewalls that law enforcement would have used to achieve this.
Throughout the years, there have not been any records of Japanese gamblers persecuted for accessing online poker casinos.
But it’s not all good news; major Japanese banks block their customers from making deposits or withdrawals from gambling websites. Moreover, poker casinos from different parts of the world block Japanese players from accessing their platforms if they have Japanese IPs.
Even so, gamblers can always access online poker sites that welcome them and use e-wallets to fund their accounts.
All in all, live poker suffers way more problems than online poker. Besides, recent trends are encouraging the progression of online poker in Japan, even though it’s fairly new. Case in point, online poker tournaments in japan are very common, and they happen quite frequently.
Additionally, more mainstream online poker sites are aggressively appealing to Japanese gamblers. We expect exponential advancements in Japan’s online gambling sector over the next years.Conclusion
Even though online poker is popular in Japan, players still have a difficult time funding their accounts through the bank, or accessing some overseas online poker sites. However, these do not stop them from enjoying this game. The Japanese online gambling sector is slowly progressing and pretty soon, players won’t have to deal with these challenges.
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