Top Sports Betting Sites
Sports betting in Japan is only legal in very limited and specific circumstances. You can bet on public sports like bicycle, motorcycle and powerboat racing along with horse racing. A law passed in 1998 also made it legal to bet on J-League football matches, with restrictions.
You won’t find full-service online betting sites in Japan. They’re illegal. But there are plenty of foreign online sportsbooks that will happily accept your Yen (or at least convert it to another major currency for you). Take a look at our list of the best betting sites in Japan and read our in-depth reviews to find out everything from the markets available to the security measures and customer services on offer.
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How to Make a Deposit
Funding your online betting account from Japan is easier than you think. The top Japanese betting sites accept wire transfers, e-wallets and credit cards. Take note, though, that most Japanese banks block deposits going to betting sites if you try to use your Japan-issued credit card.
You could open a foreign bank account, to overcome this, or you can use options like PayPal, Neteller and Skrill. Neteller especially supports Yen accounts and offers high maximum deposit limits and fast transactions.
To make a deposit at an online Japanese sportsbook:
- Register an account at your preferred betting site.
- Verify your new account via an email or text link the site sends you.
- Head to the site’s cashier and choose the most convenient payment method for you.
- Choose how much you want to deposit and confirm the transaction.
- Your funds will appear in your sportsbook account almost instantly.
- Claim any welcome bonuses and start betting.
Withdrawing your winnings is just as easy, and usually involves crediting back your chosen deposit method. So, if you use Neteller to make a deposit, your withdrawal will go to your Neteller account. Different sportsbooks have different withdrawal processing times. We recommend checking this out before you decide on a deposit method.
🙋 FAQ 🙋
Frequently asked questions about the best betting sites in Japan
What is the best betting site in Japan?
It depends on what you prefer. The best betting site in Japan is one that is licensed offshore, offers bonuses and has all the sports and markets you want to bet on.
Are online betting sites legal in Japan?
Online betting sites in Japan are illegal. But you can spend your Yen at offshore sportsbooks that hold licenses from the likes of the MGA.
Are the best betting sites in Japan Licensed?
Yes. We only recommend online betting sites that are licensed and regulated by internationally renowned regulatory authorities.
Do all sports betting sites accept Japanese players?
All the best betting sites in Japan accept players from the country and either accept Yen or automatically convert your funds to another major currency.
Do the best betting sites in Japan offer online casinos?
Some of the best betting sites in Japan also have online casinos with a library of fun games like slots, table games and even live dealer games.
Are winnings from betting sites in Japan taxed?
No, you don’t have to pay tax on your winnings if you play at offshore betting sites.
Do the best betting sites in Japan offer bonuses?
Yes, you’ll find everything from welcome bonuses to free bets, to risk-free bets and even reload bonuses. Some sites reward you for referring friends, too.
Can Japanese players use European betting sites?
Yes, you can play at any of the best betting sites on our top list.
Bet on Popular Sports
Japanese residents love baseball. Whether it’s Major League Baseball from the United States or Puro Yakyu, you’ll often find Japanese people betting on baseball in any shape or form they can.
Here’s an overview of the most popular sports you’ll find at the best betting sites in Japan, each offering a range of markets and betting options.
Football – there are 18 professional clubs in Japan, with citizens also following many international professional leagues like the FIFA World Cup and English Premier League. At home, the Japanese national team have enjoyed much success, having qualified for some World Cups and growing as one of the strongest teams in Asia.
Baseball – we mentioned the popularity of baseball in Japan. It’s a widely followed sport and punters can bet on both international and domestic leagues like the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, Chunichi Dragons and Yokohama DeNa BayStars.
Cycling – all the best betting sites in Japan have cycling markets on offer. Japanese citizens love cycling, and not just as a pastime, but as a sport, too. You’ll regularly find Keirin, a velodrome racing variant at top online sportsbooks.
Horse racing – from Ban’ei and jump racing to flat track racing, Japanese love to bet on horses. All the best betting sites in Japan accept bets on local horse races, including the big Japan Cup. There’s also the option to bet on international races like the Breeder’s Cup and American Triple Crown races.
Golf – the Japanese peninsula boasts an active golfing community, and the country has produced some incredible talent over the years, making golf a popular sport to bet on online.
Best Sports Betting Bonuses
Online sportsbooks do anything to attract clients, and the most effective way to do this is with bonuses and promotions. The best betting sites in Japan are no different.
Some of the best sports betting bonuses for Japanese punters include:
Welcome bonus – popularly known as a deposit bonus, the majority of online bookmakers offer you something when you sign up and make a deposit. Essentially, it’s extra funds to match your deposit either in full or part. The size of the bonus is often capped and comes with wagering requirements. This means you must either rollover or play through the amount a specified number of times at pre-defined odds as well as the minimum stake before you can withdraw the bonus funds or winnings.
Risk-free bets – this is similar to a cashback bonus. You place a certain type of wager on a specified market or event. The promotion carries pre-defined stakes and odds. Since it’s a risk-free bet if you win, you claim your winnings and if you lose, the bookmaker credits your account with free bets or cash to match your stake up to a certain amount.
Free bets – this is another popular Japanese sports betting bonus that punters look for. With free bets, you receive a type of betting voucher (think of it as a gift card) to use on your favourite sports. Free bets usually come with rollover requirements. To put it simply, you place a bet using the free bet. If you win, you get real money. Before you can withdraw your winnings, you need to play through the wagering requirements.
Reload bonus – this one is more popular amongst American sportsbooks, but some of the best betting sites in Japan do offer punters reload bonuses from time to time. It’s a deposit bonus with a tiny difference. You cannot receive a reload bonus on your very first deposit. All you have to do is make a qualifying bonus and the bookmaker will credit your account with their specified percentage.
Loyalty bonuses – all the top Japanese betting sites run some sort of loyalty programme. Placing bets regularly at the same bookmaker earns you points or rewards. You can then redeem your points for various prizes or other rewarding bonuses.
Enhanced odds and profit boost – this is a fairly new type of bonus that can increase your winnings big time. For instance, the site might give you higher odds to score first in a football match. So you can bet the amount you want to, and look forward to a higher return.
Betting contests – this is a popular promotion with big rewards. Online sportsbooks arrange contests and punters must predict the outcome or collect points for placing specified bets. The bookmaker then selects a winner based on ranking or at random. Winners can look forward to big bonuses or a share of a hefty prize pool.
Refer a friend bonus – a popular bonus, bookmakers use this one to catch your attention and bring in more punters. It’s a win-win. The sportsbooks get new clients and you, as the referring friend, get a bonus for bringing in new people who sign up and make deposits.
Sports Betting Apps in Japan
What’s better than online sports betting? Online sports betting on the go! All the best betting sites in Japan offer some sort of mobile betting option, where you can place bets on your tablet or smartphone on your mobile web browser. Today’s top sites are mobile optimised right out the gate and offer up the same functionality as their desktop platforms.
As a result, you can make deposits and place bets anywhere, anytime – and never miss out on the action. We find that browsers like Safari and Chrome are the most up-to-date browsers that work best for Japanese betting sites.
Some sports betting sites in Japan have native mobile apps. You can download these betting apps to your iOS or Android smartphone and tablet. The only downfall is that some sports betting apps are a limited version of the sportsbook, with mainly the most popular sports available.
On the upside, there are mobile betting sites in Japan that offer exclusive bonuses for mobile bettors.
Japan Betting Sites and Taxation
Online betting in Japan is illegal, and this makes tax laws somewhat complicated. For instance, winnings on horse racing are taxed, but only if you win more than 500,000 Yen per year. What’s more, you’re forbidden from deducting the cost of losing wagers against any wins. So, even if you lose 600,000 Yen’s worth of bets in a year, you must still pay taxes on winnings.
That sounds scary, but there’s good news, too. Taxation is limited to sports betting that is allowed in Japan. There are no laws about other sports wagers or online betting. So, you can play at the best betting sites in Japan that are based overseas, and that hold reputable licenses, and keep everything you win.