The Hidden Craze of Sports Betting in Japan
In Western media portrayals of Japan, one tired and problematic trope that is frequently trotted out is that the Japanese people are manic gamblers. Even Oscar-winning films such as Martin Scorcese’s Casino capitalize heavily on the idea that the Japanese are much more prolific gamblers than their American or British counterparts.
However, a quick look at the legal situation suggests a different story. Almost all forms of online betting remain strictly prohibited in Japan, with wagering on most sports being subject to chapter 23 of the Japanese penal code, which outlaws most types of betting.