Poker is a game of skill and strategy that has been enjoyed by millions of people worldwide for centuries. However, the legality of poker rooms in Japan has been a topic of debate for years. While gambling is illegal in Japan, there are some exceptions, and many poker enthusiasts are eager to learn more about the current legal situation.
In this guide, we will explore the history of gambling laws in Japan, the current state of poker rooms, and what the future may hold for poker enthusiasts in the country.
Playing poker in Japan – legal or not?
Gambling has been illegal in Japan since the end of World War II. The government passed the Criminal Code, which prohibits most forms of gambling, including poker. However, there are some exceptions to the law, including horse racing, bicycle racing, and motorboat racing. These forms of gambling are regulated by the government and are legal to participate in.
The legality of poker rooms in Japan is a gray area. While the Criminal Code does not specifically mention poker, it is typically considered a form of gambling. As a result, many poker rooms operate in a legal gray area, with some operating openly while others operate more discreetly.
It may not surprise you to know that the legality of playing online poker is a gray area in many countries. Even in Australia the poker legal situation is not clear.
Which are the poker banned locations in Japan?
Despite the gray area of the law, there are certain locations in Japan where poker is explicitly banned. These locations include public places such as parks, streets, and sidewalks. Additionally, poker is not allowed in businesses that do not have a gambling license, such as bars and restaurants.
Poker rooms that operate in Japan typically do so in private clubs or hotels. These establishments are considered private spaces and are not subject to the same regulations as public places or businesses without a gambling license.
The current state of poker rooms in Japan
Currently, there are only a handful of poker rooms operating in Japan. These rooms are typically located in Tokyo and Osaka, and they cater to both locals and tourists. The poker rooms offer a variety of games, including Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and Seven-Card Stud.
These poker rooms in Japan are typically small in size, with a limited number of tables. Additionally, they are often located in discreet locations and are not advertised openly. To gain entry to a poker room, players typically need to be recommended by someone who is already a member or make a reservation in advance.
Legal challenges facing poker rooms in Japan
The legal challenges facing poker rooms in Japan are numerous. While poker is not explicitly mentioned in the Criminal Code, it is usually considered a form of gambling. As a result, poker rooms operate in a legal gray area, with some operating openly while others operate on a more discreet basis.
Additionally, the government has been cracking down on illegal gambling in recent years. In 2018, a major crackdown on illegal gambling resulted in the arrest of 56 people in Tokyo, including the operators of an illegal poker room. While the poker room was not directly targeted, the operators were charged with violating gambling laws.
List of 3 websites that offer legal poker in Japan
Online poker websites are another gray area in Japan. There are no Japanese poker websites as the government has not issued licenses to anyone to operate them. But international poker websites are tolerated.
From this perspective, we would say that people living in Japan can access international poker websites legally. There is no IP filtering in place or specific firewalls to prevent Japanese residents from accessing international poker sites. The government has not prosecuted anyone to date for accessing these international poker websites.
While there are several international websites that welcome players from Japan to play poker, our team of experts has tested many of these sites and will only recommend three of them. They are SwC Poker, CoinPoker, and Betonline Poker. As Japan is not on GGPoker’s restricted countries list you could play there too.
The easiest way for residents of Japan to play poker online is to use cryptocurrency. Most Japanese banks ban the use of their credit cards on international poker sites. There is no verification process required at SwC Poker and you can register without providing any of your sensitive details. A working email is all you need.
You can play poker at SwC with a tablet or smart phone, or a desktop or laptop computer. Android, iOS, MacOS, and Windows operating systems are all supported. When our expert team reviewed SwC Poker, they found that the rakes were some of the lowest around. They also have the highest rakeback which can be as high as 50%.
How reputable is SwC Poker?
SwC Poker has been operating since 2015. It has developed a solid reputation with its players over the years and most reviews are positive. The company are committed to conquer any forms of cheating and their poker games are fair. Our expert team consider SwC Poker to be one of the most reputable international poker sites.
In addition to this, there is a wide range of poker games on offer at SwC poker including favorites like Texas Hold’em and Omaha. They also have a Bad Beats jackpot and regular freerolls. There is a good loyalty program available too.
CoinPoker was launched a couple of years after SwC Poker and didn’t get off to the best of starts with its players. But over the years they have built a strong reputation with their players and now CoinPoker is considered to be one of the best international poker sites around.
Japanese players will need to use cryptocurrency at CoinPoker. USDT, Ethereum, and Bitcoin are accepted for deposits and withdrawals. The deposit and withdrawal process at CoinPoker is very efficient because everything is administered using smart contracts on the blockchain network.
Fairness and honesty is a top priority at CoinPoker and they deploy publicly auditable random number generators that are provably fair for all deals. It is easy to play at CoinPoker as it has a minimalist look about it.
Why play at CoinPoker?
It is a legitimate international poker website with a Curacao Gaming Authority license. There is no KYC procedure so you can play poker anonymously. They have some good promotions on offer which include freerolls, rakebacks, a good referral program, and more. This is a good play-to-earn crypto poker website.
The final international website for Japanese players that we recommend is Betonline Poker. For 16 years Betonline has been operating and it has a solid reputation with its players. Litecoin, Ripple, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Cash are all accepted for deposits and withdrawals.
You can play at Betonline Poker using a browser with any device. This includes Android and iOS mobile devices and laptop and desktop computers. Registration is very easy and you can lay anonymously as there is no verification process required.
There are a variety of poker games that you can play at Betonline and they have cash and tournament games available. Cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals are very fast at Betonline Poker. They also provide very good customer support to players.
Tips for playing poker in Japan
If you are interested in playing poker in Japan, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it is important to do your research and find a reputable poker room. This can be difficult, as many rooms operate in a legal gray area. However, by asking around and doing your research, you should be able to find a room that is safe and reliable.
Additionally, it is important to be respectful of the local culture. Japan is a country with a strong sense of etiquette, and this extends to poker rooms. Be sure to follow the rules of the room and be respectful of your fellow players.
Factors to consider before signing up to a poker room in Japan
Before signing up to a poker room in Japan, there are several factors to consider. First, consider the location of the room. Is it in a safe and reputable area? Additionally, consider the size of the room and the number of tables. A smaller room may offer a more intimate experience, while a larger room may offer more variety in terms of games and players.
Additionally, consider the stakes at the table. Some rooms may offer higher stakes games, while others may be more geared towards recreational players. Finally, consider the reputation of the room. Has it been around for a long time? Does it have a good reputation among players?
Pros and cons of playing in Japanese poker rooms
There are pros and cons to playing in Japanese poker rooms. One of the pros is that the rooms are typically small and intimate, which can make for a more enjoyable experience. Additionally, the quality of play is often high, as Japanese players tend to be very skilled and knowledgeable about the game.
However, there are also cons to playing in Japanese poker rooms. For one, the rooms can be difficult to find, as they are often located in discreet locations. Additionally, the stakes may be higher than what you are used to, and the etiquette and culture of the room may be different than what you are used to.
The future of poker rooms in Japan
The future of poker rooms in Japan is uncertain. While the government has been cracking down on illegal gambling, there are some signs that the laws may be changing. In 2018, a government panel recommended that the ban on casino gambling be lifted to help boost tourism.
While this recommendation did not specifically mention poker, it could open the door for other forms of gambling to be legalized. Additionally, the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo has had an impact on the future of poker rooms in Japan.
The government worked hard to clean up the city in preparation for the Olympics, and this included cracking down on illegal gambling. However, now that the Olympics are over, there is thought to be a more relaxed attitude towards gambling and the legalization of certain forms of gambling, including poker.
In conclusion, poker rooms in Japan operate in a legal gray area. While gambling is illegal in Japan, there are some exceptions, and many poker enthusiasts are eager to learn more about the current legal situation.
The future of poker rooms in Japan is uncertain, but there are signs that the laws may be changing. If you are interested in playing poker in Japan, be sure to do your research and find a reputable room. Additionally, be respectful of the local culture and follow the rules of the room.
A: While gambling is illegal in Japan, poker rooms operate in a legal gray area.
A: The poker rooms are typically located in Tokyo and Osaka.
A: Japanese poker rooms offer a variety of games, including Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and Seven-Card Stud.
A: Ask around and do your research. Look for rooms that have been around for a long time and have a good reputation among players.