Authorities in Japan Issue Arrest Warning to Users of Online Casinos

  • A new ad campaign explains that the use of offshore online gambling platforms is a crime
  • The authorities provided two examples of people who have been arrested for related offenses
  • Gambling-related crimes carry up to three years in prison or a fine
  • An estimated two million people in the country reportedly use online casinos
Mt. Fuji in Japan
Japanese authorities have released a new warning that people using online casinos could face time in prison. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

A new campaign

Authorities in Japan have issued a warning to people in the country who use online casinos. The Consumer Affairs Agency and the National Police Agency (NPA) in Japan released a new ad campaign on Monday, explaining that the use of offshore online gambling platforms is a crime.

all forms of online casinos are illegal to use

While the use of online casinos has long been illegal in Japan, there appears to have been confusion regarding the matter. Many people believed that if the online casino had its base overseas in a legal jurisdiction that it was okay. This is not the case according to Japanese law, which says that all forms of online casinos are illegal to use. Some knew that it was not legal to use these platforms, but they did not think the law would be enforced.

Specific examples

Japanese authorities provided two examples of people who have been arrested due to their use of online casinos. In one instance, a user was arrested after playing at an overseas online casino through a computer in their home. In the other example, a person who gave access another individual access to a computer in their home for the purpose of using an offshore online casino.

Most types of gambling are illegal in Japan. Some of the main exceptions include certain lotteries, pachinko, and betting on horse racing.

As per Japanese law, basic gambling-related crimes carry as many as three years in prison or a fine of up to ¥500,000 (US$3,403). The NPA said it arrested 18 people in 2019 and 16 people in both 2020 and 2021 for illegally using online casinos.

A major issue

An estimated two million people in Japan reportedly gamble online. Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida reaffirmed in June that online casinos will remain illegal and that their use will not be tolerated. He confirmed that numerous ministries and agencies are tasked with enforcing laws relating to online casinos.

three integrated casino resorts are set to come to Japan

Some politicians did challenge the prime minister about potential societal issues resulting from the development of integrated casino resorts in the country, questioning how they will be dealt with if authorities have trouble enforcing online gambling laws. Up to three integrated casino resorts are set to come to Japan in the coming years.