On Monday, Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA) and Consumer Affairs Agency issued a warning across a wide range of media in which they declared the use of offshore, online gaming sites as a crime.
The warning reads, “Have you ever heard that using online casinos as an individual is legal as long as the site is operated legally overseas? Even if an online casino is operated legally overseas, connecting from within Japan and then gambling on the site is illegal. There is precedence of arresting online casino users for gambling-related crimes. Gambling is a crime. Stay away.”
The warning also provides two examples of users having been arrested for the use of online casinos:
(1) A user who connected to an online casino site operated by an overseas company using a computer in their own home, then played against a dealer on that website, was arrested for a simple crime related to gambling activities.
(2) An individual who provided access for a user to an online casino site on an overseas server through a computer in their own home and allowed them to place bets within Japan was arrested for habitual gambling. The user was also arrested for simple crime related to gambling activities.
According to Japanese law, the penalty for gambling-related crimes is a fine of no more than JPY500,000 (US$3,380) or up to three years imprisonment.
The NPA said it made 18 arrests in 2019, 16 in 2020 and another 16 in 2021 for gambling crimes related to online casinos, all of which committed at gambling establishments.