Japanese Gaming moves into the 21st century

Gambling in Japan

gambling japanIn December 2016 Japan's legislative body voted to amend the country's gambling laws. As a result the Parliament voted to legalize casinos in the country, the world's third largest economy. This had been an ongoing political argument since 2001 with politicians arguing for and against the benefits of gaming industry. The country's leadership was supportive of the bill as it was considered a positive way to improve tourism, as well as to strengthen the country's economy. As it is well known that Asians enjoy gambling and as such it is a very popular activity of leisure, the motivation had been high for casino operators to open in Japan. As this is an imminent decision, the first physical casinos in the country could be open by 2023.

This historic decision comes on the heels of a blanket ban on casinos in Japan. However gambling was never completely illegal and many local municipalities held lotteries, or in Japanese takaruji, as lotteries are very popular with the Japanese. The lottery law states that "only one of the 47 Japanese prefectures or 12 designated cities can hold a takarakuji." As such Japanese citizens can play a the lottery via an ATM,  or by way of scratch cards which are sold at local grocery stores. However the law states that "50% of the prize pool must be returned to charity or a local government entity." Therefore the lottery/takarakuji provided a boost to the country's non-profits.

pachinkoAlso legal in Japan has been the pachinko, which is a type of machine incorporating a pinball and slot machine, and a videogame. Pachinko is played in specially equipped locations managed privately. Interestingly enough this type of gaming is not considered a form of gambling, and this is for "historical, cultural and monetary reasons." The difference with pachinko is that winnings are received in balls that can be exchanged for prizes which are then taken to a different building to be sold for cash. This is how the pachinko parlor gets around the gambling laws. Another acceptable form of gambling in Japan has been betting on various local sports. Tickets for betting can also be purchased on ATM's or grocery stores.

The MegaMillions

With the new gambling laws in place, it will now become more acceptable to take part in other forms of lottery, such as the MegaMillions Lottery. The MegaMillions is an online lottery which encompasses lotteries from all over the world, and it is accessible online. Players can take part in the comfort of their own home for the chance to win high value prizes, with jackpots reaching some $5 million. Draws take place twice a week and players can choose to take part in games in Spain or Portugal, the US or Canada, and Holland or Italy, amongst many others. With a 100% secure system including auditors and back office videotaping, this is one of the safest forms of gaming available today. The site is very user friendly with all important details for how to play as well as MegaMillions news and tips for success.

So what are you waiting for? MegaMillions is beckoning!