Reports indicate that Japan is embracing the idea of legalizing sports betting, placing its market value at $65 billion if the legalization plan sails through. Japanese legislators are reportedly debating on whether to incorporate sports gambling into the country’s gambling industry, with major focus being on soccer and baseball.
Pachinko remains the main form of gambling in Japan, reportedly generating up to ¥30 trillion profit every year, but even then, covid19 effects have affected its yearly revenue. Besides Pachinko, Japanese legislation also permits gambling on horse racing, biking, and motorboat races.
How Soon Could This Happen?
The subject about sports betting legalization in Japan could be realized earliest 2024 if the ongoing internal discussions regarding the issue materialize.
Covid19 impact on the Japanese economy is one of the legalization accelerating factors. Kansai University reported that the professional sports industry in Japan experienced losses amounting to $2.5 billion as a result of games being cancelled due to covid19 pandemic. The banning of spectators from games attendance also contributed to the losses.
If sports betting becomes authorized in Japan, its players will be able to place bets on J-League (top Japanese Soccer League) games and Nippon Skilled League (baseball) games.
Taming Illegal Sports Gambling in Japan
Japan is currently losing significant amounts of revenue due to illegal sports betting in the country. Japanese are taking part in sports betting in offshore gambling sites, with the help of VPNs and illegally acquired foreign banking cards. The revenue being lost to illegal gambling will, therefore, make its way back to Japan’s economy.