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Japan is a country that borders the North Pacific Ocean, the Philippine Sea, East China Sea, and the Sea of Japan. With a landmass of 377,975 km, it is known for its rich cultural history and 100+ active volcanos. Japan is also one of the Asian countries where gambling is widely embraced and accepted, even if technically illegal. Fortunately, loopholes in Japanese law allow bettors to punt via offshore bookies. This article will explore those loopholes and highlight the best international betting sites in Japan for sports betting and casino. You will learn all details needed. Let’s start!


List of the Best 7 Bookmakers in Japan

The best 7 bookmakers in Japan include 1xbit, 22bet, Pinnacle, Betway, FortuneJack, Stake and CyberBet.

1xBit
Cashout
Live Betting
  • High odds bookie
  • Crypto betting
  • Awesome bonuses
Up to 8.75 BTC Welcome Bonus
18+ T&Cs Apply | Play Responsibly
Features Show all
  • Live Streaming
  • Live Betting
  • Cashout
  • Casino
  • E-Sports
  • Live Casino
  • Bet Builder
Payments Show all
22Bet
Cashout
Live Betting
  • Good sports bonus
  • Many betting options on sports
  • High odds
Get up to 100% up to €122 for Signup
18+ T&Cs Apply | Play Responsibly
Features Show all
  • Live Betting
  • Cashout
  • Casino
  • E-Sports
  • Live Casino
  • Bet Builder
  • Boosted Odds
  • Live Streaming
  • Poker
  • Virtual Sports
Payments Show all
Pinnacle
Cashout
Live Betting
  • High odds and limits
  • Not limiting players
  • Big range of options to bet on sports
200FS Bonus
18+ T&C apply | Play Responsibly
Features
  • Live Betting
  • Casino
  • E-Sports
  • Live Casino
Payments Show all
Betway
Cashout
Live Betting
  • High odds
  • Great markets
  • Superb support
Get $/€30 free bet + 20 FS
Min Deposit: €/$10. First deposit matched up to €/$30. 1x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Customers are required to deposit a minimum of $/€10 to qualify for free spins, free Spins expire 48 hours after crediting and the free Spins will be credited as Cash. 18+ T&C apply | Play Responsibly
Features Show all
  • Live Streaming
  • Live Betting
  • Cashout
  • Casino
  • E-Sports
  • Live Casino
  • Virtual Sports
  • Bet Builder
  • Request a Bet
  • Boosted Odds
  • Partial Cash out
Payments Show all
FortuneJack
Cashout
Live Betting
  • High-odds bookies
  • Excellent support
  • Secure crypto payments
No Deposit Bonus: 200 Free Spins + 7.5 BTC
18+ T&C apply | Play Responsibly
Features Show all
  • Live Betting
  • Casino
  • Live Casino
  • Cashout
  • E-Sports
  • Live Streaming
  • Virtual Sports
Payments Show all
Stake
Cashout
Live Betting
  • Variety of sports
  • Payment with cryptocurrencies
  • Great bonuses for all customers
$1000 Sign-up Promotion
18+ T&C apply | Play Responsibly
Features Show all
  • Cashout
  • Casino
  • E-Sports
  • Live Betting
  • Live Streaming
  • Live Casino
Payments Show all
Cyber.bet
Cashout
Live Betting
  • Focus on eSports
  • Casino and sportsbook of top quality
  • Exclusive bonuses
100% up to €100
18+ T&C apply | Play Responsibly
Features Show all
  • E-Sports
  • Live Streaming
  • Live Betting
  • Casino
  • Live Casino
  • Virtual Sports
Payments Show all

Top Betting Sites in Japan Ranked

  1. 🥈 1xbit – Best Japanese crypto bookie
  2. 🥉 22bet – Awesome odds payouts in place
  3. 🏆 Pinnacle – Best bookie for sports betting
  4. 🎖 Betway – Top promotions and bonuses
  5. 🎯 Fortune Jack – Crypto casino and sportsbook
  6. 🏅 Stake.com – Great in-house games and eSports specials
  7. 🔥 Cyber.bet – Top bookie for eSports betting in Japan

Japan’s TOP 7 Bookies Reviewed

As the best betting sites in Japan for 2024, a short introductory review and list of pros and cons are provided below.

1xbit

As a leader in sports entertainment, 1xbit is a cryptocurrency betting site that offers coverage for more than 30 markets. Since establishing itself in 2007, the bookmaker has constantly added to its portfolio by introducing new betting markets and features. Those features include live streaming, esports, casino, lottery, financials, and virtual sports. Its sportsbook favours strong odds, flexible betting markets, and the choice between six odds formats. Likewise, it offers coverage of international events and a finely tuned Bet Constructor feature.

1xBit live betting page  
  • Pros
  • Generous new player welcome bonus
  • Excellent odds for football and baseball
  • Multiple languages and useability options
  • Cons
  • Only accepts cryptocurrencies

Link to 1xbit


22bet

Our next entry is an award-winning betting site opened in 2017. Highly regarded for their sports, casino and esports platforms, 22bet offers player-intuitive features, excellent odds, and coverage for 30+ markets. 22Bet includes pre-match, live, and fixed odds betting as part of their sports coverage. In addition, the bookmaker includes multiple player-friendly betting features, offers mobile options, and features a substantial online casino. All of which is complemented with access to detailed statistics, post-match results, 24/7 support, and player-friendly payment methods.

22bet esports betting  
  • Pros
  • Excellent interface and usability features
  • Features more than 1,000 events a month
  • Higher than average odds
  • Cons
  • Not a lot of live stats available

Browse 22bet


Pinnacle

This brand was established in 1998 and has been a staple supplier of sports entertainment to Japanese punters. As a provider of more than 20 sports markets, Pinnacle Sports includes extensive coverage of internationally popular markets. The bookie regularly features more than 1,000 events and includes live betting and other betting features. The cash out feature, esports betting, and virtual sports rank highly with Japanese punters. Another highly rated punting feature with Pinnacle is its superior odds, margins, and casino betting platform.

Pinnacle homepage  
  • Pros
  • Features 1,000 monthly sports events
  • Excellent live betting platform
  • Multiple mobile-friendly options
  • Cons
  • Limited promotional opportunities

Try Pinnacle


Betway

As a brand that established itself in 2006, Betway has grown in popularity throughout Asia and Europe. As one of the best sites for betting in Japan, Betway is a reliable betting partner to move than 25 internationally popular sports markets. Along with their sports coverage, Betway’s popularity is strengthened by its status as a regulated and safe betting site. Further cementing their popularity is easy access to live streaming, post-game analysis, free betting tips, and superior odds.

Betway LoL betting  
  • Pros
  • Features coverage for more than 25 markets
  • Offers hundreds of markets
  • Access to betting tips and the Betway blog
  • Cons
  • Does not offer cryptocurrencies as a payment option

Check out Betway


FortuneJack

While this operator may be less known for its sports betting, FortuneJack offers a superior destination for sports-savvy Japanese bettors. Fortunejack offers hundreds of daily events for pre-match and live betting, a provably fair betting site. Likewise, they shore up their sports betting options with generous betting odds, multiple odds formats, and alternative gaming solutions. These are where Fortunejack excels, including horse racing, dice games, virtual sports, an online casino, and live casino.

FortuneJack live betting  
  • Pros
  • Well constructed interface and usability features
  • Offers fractional, decimal and American odds
  • Large variety of crypto payment options.
  • Cons
  • Does not offer live streaming

Join Fortune Jack


Stake.com

This is one of the fastest-growing betting sites that is available to Japanese bettors. As a crypto-only betting site, Stake offers an abundance of sports betting options, including pre-match and live betting. Moreover, Stake delivers a highlly0intutive design and layout that is easily navigated. With player-friendly menus and a conveniently located side menu, punters can select from more than 25 sports types. Likewise, they can navigate to the Stake.com casino, where they will find thousands of games, a live casino, and Stake exclusives.

Stake Live Sports  
  • Pros
  • Lightning-fast withdrawals in less than 30 seconds
  • Outstanding sports coverage and reasonable odds
  • Real-time statistics and Live streaming
  • Cons
  • Japanese is not an available language option

Visit Stake.com


Cyber.bet

Undoubtedly growing in popularity, Cyber.bet offers a betting platform that has a flair for keeping it simple. In many respects, this is what has driven the bookie to focus on providing superior sports coverage for 15 plus markets. It is also a major part of navigating throughout the site easy and efficient. Cyber.bet features live sports betting, casino, esports, and live casino gaming along with its pre-match sports events. All contributing factors to its success, its multiple odds formats, competitive odds, and betting options strengthen its appeal.

Cyberbet esports  
  • Pros
  • Offers wide coverage for football, tennis and ice hockey
  • Features large library of betting rules
  • Offers over 1,600 casino games
  • Cons
  • Live streaming only offers for eSports

Link to Cyber.bet

How We Rank the Top Japanese Bookies

After introducing the best betting sites in Japan, it is important to explain how we rank the top Japanese bookies. These are factors that are instrumental in our ability to analyse and effectively rank a bookmaker. Used in conjunction with our pre-existing knowledge, we consider the following:

  • Licensing – A bookmaker being licensed by a reputable gaming authority is critical to its ability to deliver a safe gaming platform. All of our top Japanese bookies are licensed and meet acceptable safety and privacy standards.
  • Betting markets – The number of betting markets a bookie has available to punters often defines its value. The lack thereof limits a punter’s options and limits the profitability potential a bookie can offer. All our top Japanese bookies offer hundreds of betting markets.
  • Payment Methods – Payment methods are critical when it comes to delivering flexibility for most players. Considering the legalities of betting in Japan, the bookies in our list offer multiple flexible payment methods. Many include cryptocurrencies as well as traditional payment methods.
  • Brand Reputation – A brand’s reputation is a criterion often overlooked but one that carries the utmost importance. Therefore, we thoroughly investigate a brand’s reputation and cross-check to ensure they are trustworthy and regulatory compliant.

Japan Gambling Industry at a Glance

While the country of Japan has a somewhat open approach to gambling, its view towards online betting is lagging. Japanese gambling laws allow for casino gaming, sports betting, fantasy, and lotteries in terms of land-based betting. Unfortunately, its laws only extend those liberties to online sports betting, fantasy betting, and lotteries.

  • Currency: Japanese Yen
  • Population: 125.8 million
  • Active Players: Unknown
  • Designated Authority: Japanese Casino Regulatory Authority
  • Regulated Gambling Products: Casino, poker, bingo, sports, fantasy and lotteries
  • Types of Operators: Land-based, offshore operators

Did you know that?

  • The most popular game in Japan is Pachinko – The average Japanese punter wagers an estimated 85,000 yen on Pachinko at its more than 200+ Pachinko parlours.
  • In order to gamble in Japan, you must be 18 years or older – Like other Asian countries, Japan has strict age restrictions as a measure to prevent underage gambling.
  • Most online bookmakers and casinos accept the Japanese yen? – Along with accepting the Japanese yen, many offer Japanese as a language option.

First Steps to Betting in Japan

Japanese bettors interested in taking the first step towards punting online will need to follow some simple rules. The first of those is to read our step-by-step guide for betting in Japan, as this will help you understand the process.

  1. Begin by selecting from our list of top 7 bookmakers in Japan.
  2. Register an account, select a payment method and fund your account.
  3. Navigate to the sportsbook and choose a sports market.
  4. After viewing the odds, select your desired betting market.
  5. Enter the amount you wish to wager.
  6. Click “Submit” to register your bet.

Overview of Online Gambling in Japan

jp flag

Online gambling in Japan is a somewhat open yet restrictive environment. On the one hand. Japanese laws legalise casino betting with land-based establishments but prohibit it in the digital form. On the same scale, the law allows punters to wager on sports events, fantasy sports freely, and buy lottery tickets online. Like casino betting, the country has failed to address social or skill-based gaming and has closed loopholes.

Resultantly, Japanese punters have been taking advantage of their ability to access online betting sites via mobile devices. A big part of this comes from Japan not enacting legislation that prevents offshore operators from offering betting services. As such, bettors from Japan are free to punt online with the state’s little to no punitive actions.

Yes, Japanese betting sites are legal as there are no laws in place in Japan that identify them as illegal. While the laws in Japan state gambling is illegal, the country has yet to enact laws that refer to online betting. The exception to this is sports fantasy and lottery betting, all of which are legal online in Japan.


Do bookies restrict Japanese bettors?

Japanese bettors are restricted from punting on casino games via an offshore betting site. This is also applicable to purchasing lottery tickets, poker, and bingo. Whether amendments to its laws will allow for future consideration is unknown.


Does the government tax winnings?

The Japanese government applies a withholding tax on any winnings resultant from casino and horse racing related activities. However, this is only applicable. on winnings that exceed 500,000 JPY and only those won in land-based gambling facilities.


Bonuses & Specials

One of the most prudent aspects of betting online is the bonuses and specials available to Japanese punters. Naturally, these come in many shapes and sizes and favour those who frequently deposit to their accounts. For the most part, most bonuses centre around new player promotions and reload bonuses.

In addition to the standard array of promotional opportunities, many bookies include VIP programs and loyalty perks. However, for the savvier punter, they will have access to a large number of incentive-themed promotions. These can vary from free bets for specific sporting events to enhanced odds, free spins and exclusive one-off promotions.


Japanese Punters’ Favourite Sports

Like other Asian nations, Japanese bettors have a history of favouring certain sports over others. The one consistent though is the share similarities with other Asian nations and include martial arts, baseball, basketball and football.

  • Martial Arts
    Martial arts are a foregone conclusion when it comes to sports betting popularity in Japan. A sport that combines judo, kickboxing, striking and grappling, it ranks highly among Japanese bettors. Likewise, it is a predominantly featured sport at each of our top Japanese betting sites.
  • Baseball
    It is well-documented that baseball plays an important role in the social economics of sports betting in Japan. With their own professional baseball league and several of their elite players in the MLB, the sport generates a loyal fan base.
  • Basketball
    Less popular than baseball and martial arts, basketball still reigns supreme in Japan. The country is home to one of the most successful basketball teams in Asia and is a two-time champion of the Asian Basketball Championships.
  • Football
    Introduced in the early 1930s, football has grown to be one of Japan’s more popular sports for betting. The country also sports one of Asia’s most successful football teams, having competed in the World Cup. The country is also home to multiple collegiate leagues, which are popular options for football bettors in Japan.

Online Casinos Quick Facts

Online casinos are a touchy topic in Japan as the country has yet to welcome any land-based casinos. Fortunately, there have yet to be any restrictions placed by Japanese authorities, nor have they undertaken and measures towards blocking access.

Considering pachinko is widely played in Japan, the popularity of casinos games is evident by the number of offshore operators. Expectantly, punters can look forward to an abundance of options such as slots, card games, poker, and other games of chance.


Currency & Payment Gateways

The questionability of online betting being as it is in Japan, bookies offer a variety of punter-friendly payment gateways. There is the usual combination of credit and debit card options, but many have introduced cryptocurrencies as a payment method. These are preferred for their added privacy protection benefits and ease of use.

Generally, the minimum payments are similar to those required for traditional payment methods. However, the processing of crypto payments does incur fees when depositing or withdrawing. Yet, the cost is minimal for the convenience and anonymity they offer.


Mobile Betting in Japan

Mobile betting in Japan is the favoured option for betting on sports or playing casino games. Mainly driven by mobile websites, they provide bettors with a high level of privacy due to their inherent nature. The appeal largely is resultant from the flexibility mobile betting provides and the instant availability to betting markets.

However, most betting sites in Japan also offer alternative solutions for mobile betting. These mainly come in the form of betting apps for iOS and Android devices. Although, they are less appealing for privacy reasons as they require downloading. On the plus side, they operate at the same functionality levels, and therefore choosing one of the other is a personal preference.


Top Bookie Ranked by Silentbet

1xBit sits in the position as the top bookie ranked by Silentbet based on in popularity and betting features. This is no small accomplishment considering the competition facing online bookmakers today. Part of its rise to prominence at Silentbet is the bookmakers dedication to simplicity and in providing a stable betting environment.

The stability and simplicity has also seen the bookie forgoing live streaming in favour of a superior engineered live betting platform. It has also resulted in an emphasis towards odds and unique features such as BetGames TV. Therefore, if you are in the market for a new Japanese recommended bookie, 1xBit is worth your consideration.

Visit 1xBit
18+ T&Cs Apply | Play Responsibly
Website: 1xbit.com
Founded: 2007
Country: Russia

Summary & Verdict

Japan is one of the world’s most populous and technologically-advanced countries. It is also one of the few Asian nations that will see it develop its gambling laws to adjust to the changing climate of acceptance. It has already proven this through its adoption of friendly betting laws for land-based gambling.

However, it is behind in its approach to favourable laws relating to online gambling. While some forms are accepted, others remain legally unavailable for Japanese players. Thankfully, the liberal approach and lack of authoritative enforcement provide them multiple options, allowing freedom of choice to prevail.


FAQs

Is it legal to bet on sports in Japan?

Yes, sports betting online is legal in Japan.

How can I be sure Japanese authorities won’t confiscate my funds?

All bookies offering betting services in Japan are licensed, and therefore funds are protected.

Will I have to pay taxes on my winnings in Japan?

Yes, but only if betting at a Japanese land-based betting establishment. Online winnings are not taxed in Japan.

Are cryptocurrencies an available payment option for Japanese punters?

Yes, cryptocurrencies are an available payment option for Japanese punters and are readily offered by online bookies and casinos.

Are offshore casinos legal in Japan?

Yes, offshore casinos are legal in Japan, and punters are free to register, deposit and play any game of their choosing.


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    Author: Katerina Gadzheva
    Certified Betting Expert
    Katerina Gadzheva
    Katerina has 10+ years of experience in iGaming. She has been a player long before that. Using her skills as a content writer and first-hand knowledge of the online gambling industry, she reviews and compares online casinos for Silentbet.