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Online Gambling Sites > Best Betting Sites > Betting Sites for Japan

Best Betting Sites for Japan: Our Guide to the top ranked Japanese Bookmakers for May 2024

Last Updated on 17/05/2024
Fact checked by: Heather Williams

Placing sports bets in Japan can be a tricky thing to get your head around, with local laws contributing to the confusion. Lucky for you, The Game Haus is here to help with our guide to the best betting sites in Japan.

Our experts have done the hard work on your behalf, scrutinizing Japan’s gambling laws and offering essential tips to help you find the country’s best sports betting options. There’s also advice for those interested in betting on esports in Japan, including its legal standing and the platforms to turn to when placing these unique sports bets.

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Can I use online betting sites in Japan?

There’s no escaping the fact that Japan has strict gambling laws, but that doesn’t mean you can’t access your favorite bookmakers in the country. The Japanese government neither blocks international sports betting sites nor prosecutes those that use them, meaning that online sports betting in Japan has now pretty much entered the mainstream.

The list of betting sites in Japan may be somewhat limited, but punters in the country can access any global sportsbook they choose. In fact, thousands of Japanese sports fans regularly bet on some of the world’s biggest and best sports betting sites, particularly in markets like the US MLB and the English Premier League.

The number of legal and homegrown sports betting sites in Japan is extremely limited, with a couple of exceptions for domestic soccer and horse racing. All other forms of sports betting in Japan are technically illegal, but that hasn’t stopped thousands of players from turning to online sportsbooks as a way to bet on their favorite sports and teams.

Authorities in Japan show little concern for players accessing international sportsbooks to place sports bets. Indeed, as the number of people using online betting sites in Japan has risen, there have been discussions about legalizing sports betting, opening up the market to an even greater player pool.

For now, though, Japanese sports bettors must rely on international sportsbooks to place bets on their beloved teams. And happily, there are plenty of options available to facilitate this, with some of the world’s biggest and best-known online bookmakers accepting wagers from Japanese customers.

How to choose the best betting sites in Japan

When it comes to choosing a bookmaker in Japan, there are plenty of things you’ll need to weigh up before placing a wager with a specific operator. So, if you’re actively seeking the top betting sites in Japan, these expert tips should make your search a little simpler.

Sports market availability

Enjoy betting on American baseball? Or perhaps you’re more inclined to wager on international soccer? Whatever your preferred teams and championships, check that the operator covers the sports you like to bet on. Available sports markets can differ between online sportsbooks, so always check what’s on the table before you commit.

Welcome bonus and promotions

The best betting sites in Japan are those that provide welcome bonuses to new customers, as well as ongoing promotions and deals on specific sports and special events. Sportsbook promotions include bonus bets, deposit matches, and odds boosts, so it can pay to compare different sportsbook bonuses before you bet. You should also check the promo T&Cs to see if there are any limitations to accessing the offer in Japan.

Safety and Security

International big-name sportsbooks do an excellent job of keeping their customers safe, with robust safety features like two-factor authentication and full data encryption. Given the legal standing of sports betting in Japan, it’s critical that you do plenty of research on the safety and security of the sportsbook you like the look of so that you can place valid bets and feel confident that you’ll receive your winnings.

Customer service and support

There are multiple occasions when you might need help when using online betting sites in Japan, so look for operators with round-the-clock customer support provision. A live chat function is often the easiest and fastest means of getting the help you need, while some operators may also provide email support in your preferred language.

Available payment methods and currencies

Look for Japanese sportsbooks with a good variety of credible payment options, and those that let you choose different currencies depending on where you live. For instance, players may wish to switch between yen and dollars or utilize payment methods like crypto, credit card, or wire transfer. Compare different sportsbook transaction fees, too, as well as processing times for deposits and cashouts.

Mobile app

Enjoy the convenience of placing sports bets on your smartphone? Many sportsbooks now offer dedicated mobile apps for Android and iOS devices, bringing you a feature-rich betting experience on mobile and tablet. Some sportsbook apps may only be available in some territories, so check your preferred app store.

Reviews and comparisons

One of the best ways to find Japan’s best betting sites is through all online reviews, sportsbook comparisons, and customer testimonials. Look for impartial reviews from fellow Japanese sports bettors; if a certain site is favored by other players where you live, it may be more of a safe bet.

Our pick of the best sportsbooks in Japan

For your safety and to ensure the bets you place are valid, it’s critical that you choose a sportsbook that accepts sports bets from customers in Japan. Below, our experts have handpicked four familiar and well-established bookmakers that fall within this remit.

Stake.com

Stake.com has quickly risen to become one of the world’s most flexible and far-reaching sportsbooks, offering competitive odds on a huge range of sports markets, including Japanese favorites like baseball, rugby union, and soccer. The site is also well-known for its bonuses and promotions, and right now, new customers can receive an exclusive welcome bonus when they sign up at Stake.com using exclusive code.

Bet365

Talk to any regular sports bettor in Japan, and they’ll tell you that Bet365 is one of the country’s most popular sportsbook operators – and for good reason. Tons of payment options, great welcome offers, and a whole host of live-streaming services make Bet365 a joy to use, and with a huge choice of sports markets, you should have no trouble finding the games and teams you want to bet on.

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Unibet

Next on our list of the best betting sites in Japan is Unibet, which is revered for its user-friendly interface, live wagering options, and top-notch welcome bonuses. Unibet’s customer service provision is second to none, while the platform’s mobile app is ranked among the very best by our experts here at The Game Haus – providing a seamless way to place sports bets on your smartphone.

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Betfred

Betfred excels in its range of sports markets, with a fantastic lineup of fixtures to keep all sports fans interested. This, coupled with competitive odds and in-play bets, make Betfred a serious contender for the best international bookmaker available to Japanese punters. We would, however, recommend using the mobile app for the best experience when using wagering on Betfred.

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As online sports betting has developed in Japan, so too has the range of sports that people like to wager on. Gone are the days when Japanese sports betting consisted almost exclusively of sumo, baseball, and martial arts; now, there is a huge range of international sports markets to bet on in the country.

Some of the most popular sports markets in Japanese betting include:

  • Soccer
  • Baseball
  • Rugby union
  • Handball
  • Basketball
  • Motorsports

And that’s not all. As players continue to explore the sports markets on offer through international bookmakers, interest is growing in sports like American football, ice hockey, and volleyball. Horse racing also remains a hugely popular market in Japan, and this is among the only sports with legal betting options in the country.

How to place a bet on a sportsbook in Japan

New to sports betting in Japan? Here’s a quick step-by-step look at how to get started placing your first bet.

  1. Find a sportsbook that accepts sports bets from Japanese customers. Our experts can recommend Stake.com, Bet365, Unibet, and Betfred, but there are others out there should you wish to compare alternatives.
  2. Claiming a welcome bonus? Read the T&Cs carefully for restrictions, limitations, and playthrough rules. You should also check that the bonus is valid for customers in Japan.
  3. Register with your preferred sportsbook and make your initial deposit. You may wish to switch the currency to US dollars to make sure you qualify for any sign-up bonuses.
  4. Explore the odds and find your favorite teams. Big-name sportsbooks do a great job of offering competitive odds and unique betting options, including moneylines, accumulators, and prop bets.
  5. Place your first bet and keep those fingers crossed!

Is esports betting in Japan allowed?

Given its tech-savvy population, it’s no surprise that esports betting is booming in Japan. Players here are passionate about the latest esports leagues and tournaments, with a growing fanbase and dozens of homegrown Japanese esports teams emerging in recent years.

As for the legality of esports betting in Japan, the same rules apply here as they do for traditional sports bets. So, while it’s not technically legal to bet on esports, plenty of people do so through international bookmakers, with platforms like Stake.com providing dozens of esports markets for Japanese punters.

Brands operating in Japan

BrandsBonus OffersVerticals
Stake.com Stake.com Bonus Sports, Casino, Esports
Bet365 Bet365 Bonus Sports, Casino
20Bet -Sports, Casino
Unibet Unibet Bonus Sports, Casino
Sportsbet.io Sportsbet.io Bonus Sports, Casino, Esports
BetNFlix BetNFlix Bonus Sports, Casino
NEO.bet NEO.bet Bonus Sports
Bitcasino.io Bitcasino.io Bonus Sports, Casino, Esports
1xBet 1xBet Bonus Sports, Casino
Zodiac Bet -Sports, Casino, Esports
ComeOn ComeOn Bonus Sports, Casino
Betwinner Betwinner Bonus Sports, Casino
Shangri La -Sports, Casino
Casumo Casumo Bonus Sports, Casino
888 888 Bonus Sports
Betway Betway Bonus Sports, Casino, Esports
Dafabet Dafabet Bonus Sports, Casino
10bet -Sports, Casino
Sportingbet Sportingbet Bonus Sports, Casino, Esports
Pokerstars Pokerstars Bonus Sports, Casino, Poker
William Hill William Hill Bonus Sports, Casino, Esports
BetVictor BetVictor Bonus Sports, Casino, Esports
NetBet NetBet Bonus Sports, Casino, Esports
Sportplaza Sportplaza Bonus Sports, Casino, Esports
Betition Betition Bonus Sports, Casino, Esports
PlatinCasino PlatinCasino Bonus Sports, Casino
Mozzart Mozzart Bonus Sports, Casino
Wazamba Wazamba Bonus Sports, Casino, Esports
Betfair -Sports, Casino, Esports
Parimatch Parimatch Bonus Sports, Casino, Esports
22Bet 22Bet Bonus Sports, Casino, Esports
N1Bet -Sports, Casino
Sultanbet -Sports, Casino
Melbet -Sports, Casino
1Bet -Sports, Casino
IviBet -Sports, Casino
YYY Casino -Sports, Casino
Betano Betano Bonus Sports, Casino, Esports
LeoVegas LeoVegas Bonus Sports, Casino
Nucleonbet Nucleonbet Bonus Sports

Conclusion – Plenty of sports betting options for Japanese players

Online betting sites in Japan may not be wholly legal, but there’s a general acceptance that sports betting is on the up across the country. Players can access a broad range of international bookmakers to place bets on sports like baseball, soccer, and rugby union, while the rise of esports looks set to further accelerate calls for legal sports betting in Japan.

When it comes to finding a sportsbook in Japan, make sure the platform you choose accepts bets from Japanese customers. You should also look to take advantage of welcome bonuses and promos wherever possible, with all the latest sportsbook deals featured across The Game Haus.

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Online betting sites in Japan FAQ

Japan has some relatively complex laws when it comes to placing bets on your favorite sports. Lucky for you, our experts have broken down the country’s rules and regulations, so you can find out whether or not sports betting is legal in Japan.

⚾ What sports can I bet on in Japan?

Japanese sports fans follow a huge range of homegrown and international sports, from sumo wrestling to motorsport and beyond. The question is, which types of sports can you bet on through Japan’s best sportsbooks? Our comprehensive guide has all the intel.

🌟 Are there any sports bet bonuses and promotions in Japan?

Most people that place bets on sports in Japan tend to do so through international bookmakers like Bet365, Unibet, and Betfred. But does that entitle them to promotions and bonuses offered by these big-name sportsbooks? Find out which types of bonuses you can claim in our guide to sports betting in Japan.

🏅What are the best sports betting sites in Japan?

There are virtually no homegrown sports betting sites in Japan, with most players placing bets through international bookmakers. So, of these, which are the best to use as a Japanese sports bettor? Our guide can help you decide.

💱 Which currencies can you use on sports betting sites in Japan?

Since sports betting in Japan tends to rely on operators from overseas, customers have to think carefully about the currency that they use to make transactions – particularly when you take fees into account. Our guide to sports betting can help you decide which currencies to use on sports bookmakers in Japan.

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