In recent years, steps have been taken in Japan to relax the laws governing casinos. You can now use a land-based casino within the country, but – for the time being – will be limited to using foreign casino brands to bet online.
The good news is that you’ve actually got a huge amount of choice in this area. Dozens of off-shore casino sites happily accept Japanese punters, with many even providing Japanese-language versions of their sites. In this article, we’ll list the 15 best options of all for you. We’ll also tell you what games you can play, which payment methods you can use, and plenty more besides.
Top 5 Online Casinos in Japan Reviewed
In the list above, you can see a very wide range of top online casinos in Japan. Below though, we’ve focused on the very best of the best, and explained what makes them just so appealing.
1. 1xBet – One Of The Top Online Casinos Worldwide
1xBet has spread to become one of the most famous off-shore betting brands of all in recent years. While more famous for its sportsbook, you can also find a brilliant online casino here.
The range of choices here is exceptional, even by modern standards. Alongside a wide selection of slots, you can play table games, gameshow titles, poker, and live dealer games too. There are options to suit a wide range of budgets, and a wide selection of promotions can help your money to go significantly further.
What we like:
- Buy-ins to suit every budget
- Plenty of special offers
- Good reputation
What we don’t:
- Not the most user-friendly interface
2. 22Bet – Claim One Of The Top Welcome Bonuses in Japan
Similarly to 1xBet, 22Bet is a brand which has specialised in providing gambling services to countries which lack domestic options, like Japan. The Japanese version is actually a perfect example, with a specific version of the site available for the country, and payments accepted in JPY.
After triggering the sizable welcome bonus here, you can enjoy hundreds of different titles, which will definitely keep you entertained over the long haul. The slots and table games are as good as you’d typically expect from a modern casino, but special mention should be made of the live dealer section, which is exceptionally strong.
What we like:
- Top-notch live casino section
- Sizable special offers
- Japanese language website and JPY accepted
What we don’t:
- Mobile website could be improved
3. Spin Samurai – Huge Selection of Online Slot Games
As its name suggests, Spin Samurai is heavily focused on slots; and – as an added benefit for gamers in the country – has even committed to a Japanese theme. There are a ridiculous 3,000+ games available here, the bulk of which consists of a massive range of slots. Spin Samurai also gives you plenty of other options though, including daily drops and giveaways, roulette, blackjack, poker, live casino games, and more.
Add in a great choice of payment methods, solid customer service, and a highly-usable interface, and you can easily see why this is our number one pick.
What we like:
- Massive range of slots
- Plenty of payment methods supported
- Japanese language version available
What we don’t:
- Live chat responses can be slow
4. JackpotCity – Best Online Casino For Jackpot Games
JackpotCity launched all the way back in 1998, and has established itself as not only one of the most popular international online casinos, but one of the best too.
Both English and Japanese versions of the website are available here, and you can make payments and bets directly in yen. Alongside the famous ‘jackpot’ giveaways, there are plenty of slots and table games to choose from here, provided by some of the biggest developers around, and you can even play bingo too. Special mention should also be made of the mobile apps, which are some of the very best around right now.
What we like:
- Outstanding iOS and Android apps
- Great track record
- Wide range of games
What we don’t:
- Must sign up to play demo games
5. LuckyNiki – Unique Japanese Theme Across The Site
LuckyNiki is another online gambling site which has taken heavy inspiration from Japanese culture. From its anime-style main character, to its colourful, neon-soaked home page, this really does have the feel of being a Japanese brand. The inclusion of a Japanese version of the site naturally helps with this.
Looking beyond its styling though, this is simply a great online casino. It neatly arranges its many slots, table games, and jackpots, and provides a great selection of special offers which covers most of these. The inclusion of high quality mobile apps, which do an excellent job of replicating the casino experience on-the-go, is simply the icing on the cake.
What we like:
- Great range of special offers
- Cool and intuitive user interface
- Good mobile app
What we don’t:
- Other brands provide more payment methods
Best Japan Online Casinos Compared
Each of our 15 recommended brands is deserving of your attention. That said, each bettor will have his or her own priorities. Those might be the widest-possible selection of games, the inclusion of mobile apps, or the availability of a Japanese-language version of the main site. Below, you can see how all of our top casinos stack up in these three key areas.
|Brand||Number of Games||Japanese Language Site||Mobile Apps|
|Mr Play Casino||820+|
How We Rank the Top Online Casinos in Japan
As noted in our introduction, there are actually plenty of options for fans of casino games in Japan. We’ve boiled these down to 15 top options for you, with these being five of the most important factors we used to do so.
- Game Selection
The more games a Japanese casino site provides to choose from, the better. At the very least, we’d expect to see hundreds of slots in place, along with some table games. The more variety a brand put in place here though, the better ranking it received from us.
Of course, it’s not the quantity of games that’s important, but the quality too. This is something else we’ve been certain to gauge, testing many games for ourselves, ensuring they were provided by reputable developers, and so on.
An online casino should be straightforward to use from the first time you load it up. This is as true in Japan as in any other country.
We’ve tested all of our recommended brands extensively, and found – in each case – that they provided a user-friendly interface. Not only that, but pages generally loaded quickly, and the platform – as a whole – was reliable.
- Mobile Features
Japan is an extremely mobile-friendly country. As such, it’s not just a casino’s desktop site which matters, but its mobile features too.
Many of our recommended brands provide standalone mobile apps, which tend to be of an extremely high standard. For any which don’t, we’ve tested their mobile website instead, and confirmed that it’s of an acceptable quality.
As noted, we’ve put plenty of time into testing the 15 recommended brands ourselves. We’ve also been sure, however, to take the opinions of others into account, whether they be fellow critics or regular users. This was done to both confirm our own views – whether negative or positive – and make us aware of any issues we didn’t encounter during our own usage.
Before recommending any online gambling sites, we naturally want to be extremely confident that both your data and money will be secure after signing up.
We ensure this in a few different ways, including researching each brand’s track record, and checking that strong security measures are in place. Crucially, we also confirm that the brand is licensed with a regulatory body – such as the Malta Gaming Authority – which will hold it to the highest standards for security and fairness.
The Best Online Casino Games in Japan
Japanese casino players are blessed with a massive range of games to choose between. These include a series of hugely popular old favourites, and some less-heralded titles which you might not previously have tried. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best examples in each case.
Online Slots for Japan Casino Players
Slots remain the most popular games on casinos. As such, they also receive the best coverage by those casinos, by an absolute mile.
Most respectable casinos will give you at least several hundred different slots to choose between, provided by a whole range of different developers. In some cases, this number might swell to 1,000 or more. There will be a huge amount of variety within these options, regarding format, theme, complexity, stake size, and so on.
Recommended Brand: Spin Samurai
Popular Table Games in Japan
‘Table games’ is a broad category, which – as the name suggests – refers to basically any game that would be played on a table in a regular casino. Just a few of the most popular examples include blackjack, baccarat, and roulette. Poker will be put into this category by some brands as well, while others will split it off into its own section. Either way, all top casino sites will give you at least a few different options here.
Recommended Brand: Lucky Niki
The Best Live Dealer Games at Japan Casinos
For the most part, you’ll find the same selection of games with a ‘Live Casino’ section as you would within the ‘Table Games’ area. The most popular titles remain the same, such as blackjack and roulette, although you’ll also find a couple of different choices, including ‘game shows’.
The difference here, as the name suggests, is that the games are run by a live dealer, rather than the results being calculated by a computer algorithm. This helps to give a better approximation of a real-world casino, although you will tend to find slightly fewer games being offered overall.
Recommended Brand: 1xBet
Japan Instant Win Lottery Games
For the most part, online lotteries work similarly to their real-world counterparts. You buy a digital ‘ticket’, usually with a series of numbers. A draw is held, and – if you get enough numbers correct – you get a prize. The more numbers you hit, the bigger your prize.
There are a couple of key differences here, though. Most importantly, these are ‘instant win’, meaning not only that you get the results of the lottery more quickly, but also that you’re given any winnings straight away. The results are also provably fair, with numbers being picked by a computer algorithm rather than by hand.
Recommended Brand: BK8
Online Scratchcards in Japan
As with lotteries, online scratchards work mostly the same as the real-life version. You buy a digital card, then ‘scratch’ it to reveal numbers or symbols beneath. Get enough symbols, and you’ll instantly receive a prize.
Online scratchcards are quick to complete, and can be very fun to play. The downside, however, is that they’re still not widely available among casino sites serving Japan.
Recommended Brand: Mr Play
The Best Bonuses and Promotions in Japan
Welcome offers deliver the biggest bonuses of all among gambling sites in Japan. With the brands serving Japan, there’s actually very little variety among the promotions you can get. They’re almost all of the same type, with only the amounts and T&Cs differing between them.
Let’s see what that offer type involves, and investigate the rewards you can receive.
This offer type is absolutely dominant on Japanese casinos. In fact, you’ll find some variation of it on almost every brand. That’s certainly not a bad thing though, because these promotions deliver seriously big bonuses.
As the name suggests, they involve the casino ‘matching’ your first deposit. The amount will typically be anything from 100-200%, and the match will be delivered as a bonus, rather than cash. This can then be used to place wagers, in place of your regular balance.
There is one major drawback here, however – the infamous ‘rollover requirement’. This means that any winnings from your bonus cash must be wagered through a certain number of times. If you win 1,000 JPY, for example, and there’s a 5x rollover, you must stake at least 5,000 JPY on games before withdrawing your winnings.
Recommended Casino: 22Bet – 100% Deposit Match, Up to 40,000 JPY
Along with the aforementioned bonus money, this is the other type of reward you’ll receive from online casinos. Some brands will bundle free spins together with a deposit match welcome offer, while others will allow you to claim them via ongoing promotions.
Again, the name is self-explanatory here. These are simply tokens which you use for spins on certain slots, instead of spending your real money. Be aware that certain T&Cs will apply here though, with a cap on your winnings being the most common.
Recommended Casino: Wazamba – 100% Match Up To 500 EUR, Plus 200 Free Spins
Comparing the Top Online Casinos in Japan
We’ve covered the main types of welcome bonus you can get from Japanese casinos above. Now, it’s time to find out what you can specifically receive from our 15 recommended brands. The table below shows you exactly that, so you can identify the bonuses in which you’re most interested at a glance.
|Spin Samurai||800 EUR bonus, plus 75 free spins|
|JackpotCity||16,000 JPY deposit bonus|
|1xBet||1,500 EUR Welcome Package, Plus 150 Free Spins|
|22Bet||100% Deposit Match, Up To 40,000 JPY|
|LuckyNiki||100% Match Up To 100 EUR, Plus 30 Free Spins|
|BK8||200% Deposit Match Offer|
|Wazamba||100% Match Up To 500 EUR, Plus 200 Free Spins|
|Royal Panda||100% Match, Up To 1,000 EUR|
|MyBookie||100% Deposit Match, Up To $1,000|
|BetOnline||100% Deposit Match, Up To $1,000|
|Bodog||100% Match, Up To $600|
|Bitstarz||100% Match, Up To 10,000 JPY|
|Spin Casino||100% Match, Up To 100,000 JPY|
|Casumo||100% Match Up To $300, Plus 20 Free Spins|
|Mr Play Casino||100% Match Up To 100 EUR, Plus 100 Free Spins|
Is Online Gambling Legal in Japan?
The Japanese government has a confusing stance towards casino usage. Since 2018 it has been legal to use a land-based casino within the country. It remains illegal, however, to use casinos online. As such, there are obviously no domestic casino brands in Japan.
Technically, if you were ‘caught’ using a foreign casino site in Japan, you could be given a petty fine. In reality, similar to Singapore online casinos, this law simply isn’t enforced by the authorities. Ultimately therefore, while you’ll technically be breaking the law by gambling online in Japan, there’s almost a 0% chance you’ll be punished for doing so.
Online Casinos vs Land-Based Casinos in Japan
As noted above, it has actually been legal to bet at land-based casinos in Japan for a few years now. Unsurprisingly, quite a few brands have already taken advantage of this by setting up shop in the country.
As such, you have two clear choices about how you play casino games in Japan: in-person, or online. Let’s see how the two compare and contrast in a handful of key areas.
This is one category which online gambling in Japan win hands-down. In fact, for most bettors it is the main reason to use digital casinos over their real-world counterparts.
To use a land-based casino, you obviously need to go there in the first place. Depending on where you’re based, this could mean quite a bit of travel. Even if there’s a casino near you, it still takes some time to get there, get set up, and start playing.
None of this is the case with online casinos. You simply open your laptop or unlock your phone, log onto a site, and start playing straight away. You can do this wherever you are, whenever you like.
You certainly won’t lack for choice at any respectable land-based casino. The vast majority of them will provide you with plenty of slots and table games to choose between.
When it comes to the sheer variety within these categories, however, online casinos are once again superior. They will always provide hundreds more slots than you’d find in a brick-and-mortar location. While the same table games will be in place, playing online will usually offer a few different versions of each game; instead of simply playing blackjack, for example, there might be several different kinds of blackjack you can choose between, which differ in theme, buy-in amount, and so on.
This one should be a major consideration when choosing whether to gamble at real-world or online casinos. Some bettors like the feeling of a physical casino, whether for the camaraderie with other players, the interaction with the dealers, or – quite simply – the bar. Others prefer the privacy and more relaxed nature of an online casino. Your preference is completely subjective, of course, but it’s something you should think about in advance.
How to Win at the Top Real Money Casinos in Japan
Playing with online casinos in Japan can be a lot of fun, if you approach it the right way, but there’s never a guarantee that you’ll make a profit. Here are some of the best measures you can take to boost your chances, though.
The Top RTP Slots in Japan
As touched upon earlier, slots remain the most popular games on online casinos, and this is as true in Japan as anywhere else. You’ve got thousands of options here, and sorting through them all can be intimidating to say the least.
One quick and easy way to gauge a game’s quality, however, is to check its RTP. This stands for ‘Return to Player’, and gives you an idea of how much money you might realistically win. It’s expressed as a percentage, which indicates your theoretical winnings if you played the slot long enough. With an RTP of 98%, for example, if you staked $1,000 over the long run, you should get $980 back.
Here are 10 of the best slots among Japanese casinos, regarding their RTP. You can also see short reviews for the three top options of all below.
|Marching Legions||Relax Gaming||98%||Bitstarz|
|Fancy Fruits||Gamomat||96%||Mr Play|
|Valley of Fortunes||High5Games||96%||Lucky Niki|
|Book of Dead||Play’n Go||96%||Lucky Niki|
|Toad’s Gift||Playtech||96%||Spin Samurai|
|Lady of Fortune||Play’n Go||96%||Wazamba|
This is the definition of a classic slot. Created by industry giants Playtech Software, it was released all the way back in 2013 but remains immensely popular to this day. One of the main reasons for this, apart from it being very easy to play, is the sky-high 99% RTP.
Marching Legions is a slot with an ancient theme, but there’s absolutely nothing outdated about its excellent 98% RTP. It was developed by Relax Gaming, and features a whopping 243 different ways to win, offering excellent long-term replayability.
Created by Betsoft Gaming, Mr Macau takes you on a journey to one of the world’s most famous casino destinations. It’s a five reel, 20 payline game which can deliver some seriously big returns, with a potential payout of over 4,000x your original stake.
How to Sign Up to an Online Casino in Japan
The international casinos which accept Japanese bettors tend to be extremely easy to use. You can usually sign up and start playing within barely a few minutes, with these being the handful of steps you must take.
Step 1 – Choose a Casino
Head to the top of this page and pick one of our 15 recommended online casinos, then load up their home page on either your desktop or mobile device. We’ll assume you’re using Spin Samurai for the purposes of this guide, but the process will be largely the same with our other brands.
Step 2 – Create Your Account
Look for the ‘Register’ or ‘Sign Up’ button on the home page of your chosen brand, click it, and complete each of the sections in turn. This will involve providing personal information (such as your date of birth and address), and deciding your account details (namely your username and password).
Step 3 – Make a Deposit
Log into your newly-created account, and hit the button reading ‘Cashier’ or ‘Deposit’, usually located in the top-right of your screen. You’ll now see a list of your available options. Pick one and enter the amount you wish to deposit, then provide the necessary details and confirm the payment.
Step 4 – Play Games
This is the fun part. Now that your account has been funded, you can head back to the home page and choose from the wide range of games which are available to you. You’ll need to place a stake for every game you play, which will be deducted from your cash balance, but will receive any winnings instantly.
Step 5 – Verify Your Identity
Before making any withdrawals, almost all legitimate Japanese online casinos will need you to verify your identity. Fortunately, doing so is extremely easy. Simply take clear photos of a piece of photo ID (e.g. a passport), and a document proving your address (like a utility bill). Now submit them to the support team, either via a document uploader tool or live chat, and wait for your account to be verified.
Step 6 – Request a Withdrawal
It won’t usually take longer than a day, at most, for your account to be verified. Once it has been, you’re free to start making withdrawals. To do so, simply click the ‘Cashier’ button again, choose the ‘Withdraw’ option, and pick a withdrawal method. Enter the amount you wish to take out of your account, along with any necessary payment details, and confirm the transaction.
Comparing Payment Methods at Japan’s Top Online Casinos
The days of being limited purely to bank transfer and debit card to fund your betting accounts are thankfully over. Nowadays most online casinos will offer you a variety of ways to do so, and this is certainly the case with those serving Japanese customers.
Alongside the aforementioned ‘big two’, the vast majority of casinos will also let you choose between a few different eWallets, such as PayPal, Neteller, or Skrill. Prepaid cards are also common, and some off-shore brands will even let you use cryptos.
While no casinos are based in Japan itself, for legal reasons, many of our recommended brands will still let you make payments directly in yen. Unfortunately though, very few of them actually offer any Japanese-specific payment methods.
What is the Best Online Casino in Japan?
Using an online casino in Japan might technically still be against the rules. Don’t worry for a second, though, because this won’t actually stop you playing any of your favourite games. The rules themselves aren’t enforced, and there are dozens of great international online brands who are more than happy to accept Japanese players.
We’ve given you 15 excellent examples in this article. For our money, Spin Samurai is the very best of the best right now, with a great selection of games housed in an excellent user interface. Naturally, the cool Japanese theme doesn’t hurt either. The other 14 casinos also have their own benefits though, and – whichever one you go with – you’re sure to find a modern, safe, and user-friendly experience.