Esports Betting in Japan

Is Gambling in Japan Legal?

There might not be too many esports betting sites in Japan, but we’re here to help you find a suitable place for your esports bets. After all, you’ll probably know that gambling in Japan is pretty restrictive, even for beloved activities like video gaming. Thankfully, with our guide, you’ll figure out what you can and cannot do so that you can enjoy the best in esports betting Japan has to offer!

The state of legal gambling in Japan

Japan currently has very restricted gambling laws. This means that you are only legally allowed to bet on a handful of things like horse racing, bike racing or motor boating. There is football betting but this is kept to a kind of pool betting. Casino gambling was allegedly legalised in 2018, but there is little evidence of any casinos being allowed to open.

All of which means that your prospects of using a Japanese-licensed esports betting site are nil. As a result, if you want to use esports betting sites in Japan, you will have to use an offshore betting site. Keep reading to see what this means.

Using esports betting sites in Japan

While most forms of gambling are illegal in Japan, many of the best esports betting sites will serve customers from the nation. These are categorised as being offshore betting sites meaning that they aren’t physically located in Japan, nor do they have any official licensing from that country.

Instead, these betting sites will operate internationally and they will serve customers from a variety of different countries. So while an esports betting site might have its base in a European country like Malta, it could be equally adept at offering betting odds to customers anywhere from Canada to Japan.

However, this isn’t to say that players in Japan should automatically sign up to the first offshore esports betting site they see. After all, there is a wide variety in terms of quality in these betting sites and not all of them can be trusted.

This is why we have been careful to only recommend those esports betting sites that have some kind of official licensing and regulation from a recognised gambling authority. Such licensing means that Japanese gamers can come to the betting site and enjoy fair esports odds and a secure betting environment.

Esports Japan

The most popular forms of esports betting Japan has to offer

There’s a widespread belief that Japanese gamers will follow esports a little differently than gamers in the West. This means that they supposedly shy away from games like Counter Strike Global Offensive, Rainbow Six and Call of Duty, and instead favour more arcade-style games like Street Fighter V and Mortal Kombat.

However, we’ve found that the majority of Japanese esports fans will be more than happy with the range of pro gaming tournaments covered in our Betway review. After all, there’ll be bets for all of those classic battle arena games like League of Legends and Dota 2, as well as hits like Overwatch, Valorant and StarCraft II. So while Japan may have endured a slow start to joining the pro-gaming community, we’re pretty sure that the gamers will catch up pretty soon!

The safest ways to fund online betting Japan has right now

The good news is that each esports betting site will normally give its customer a variety of ways by which they can make deposits and withdrawals. What’s best is that a handful of our featured operators will even accept payments made in Japanese yen.

The choice of payment methods will vary according to the betting site used. You’ll commonly see a range of credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets, prepaid cards and some esports betting sites will even take payments with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Just be careful about using any betting sites that take unnecessary fees out of your deposits and withdrawals.

Picking up bonuses at esports betting sites in Japan

We should mention the fact that most esports betting sites will put on some kind of welcome bonus for new customers. These commonly give you some extra credit depending on how much you initially deposit or bet. As such, you could find yourself taking your first esports bets with stakes that aren’t even yours.

Just remember that certain esports betting bonuses might be restricted to users in countries other than Japan. Our advice is to always read the small print of any bonus before you rush to claim it. But on the whole, a good bonus can work wonders with your esports bets.


Why we’re hopeful about esports betting in Japan

When it comes to online betting Japan is being a little slow in comparison with some other countries. Thankfully, the prevailing trend is towards legalisation and deregulation, and so there’s every chance that Japan might legalise esports betting at some point in the future.

After all, Japan is perhaps the most influential nation in the video gaming industry and has produced iconic brands like Nintendo, Capcom, Bandai Namco and Sega. Admittedly, Japan was fairly slow in taking up esports in comparison to neighbouring countries like South Korea.

However, all of that seems to be changing with organisations like the Japanese Esports Union helping to professionalise the activity. Plus with major tournaments for games ranging from Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds to Clash Royale, it helps to strengthen the case for esports betting sites in Japan being legalised sooner or later.

Conclusion – Anticipating more esports betting sites in Japan

While the range of officially sanctioned betting sites in Japan might currently be rather thin, it isn’t necessarily always going to be this way.

After all, the country recently took the surprise step to legalise casino gaming, and so there’s every chance that something similar might happen to esports.

Until then, you can check out some of the offshore betting sites like the one featured in our Bet365 review and see how these operators give the Japanese a safe and fair way to bet on esports.