The nation of Japan has been an attractive vacation spot for many over the years due to their unique culture and culinary experiences. Some travellers like to choose their destination based on a certain activity such as gambling. For many years, this wasn’t an option In Japan but with recent legislative changes, gambling enthusiasts can now seek this type of holiday here.

While casino gambling wasn’t legalized until the latter part of 2016, there have been other forms of gambling that are permitted and quite popular with the Japanese. One of these is horse racing. However, unlike other parts of the world, Japanese horse racing isn’t a social event but strictly for gamblers. While there are numerous racecourses across the island nation, the most famous is the Tokyo Racecourse. Constructed in 1933, it is host to several important races every year.

Kyotei - Japanese power boat racing

Another type of gambling is Kyoutei, a form of powerboat racing. This was originally an exclusively Japanese affair until about 15 years ago when the racing spread to Korea. In each race, six boats race around a path three times. Since its inception, Kyoutei has been an equal opportunity pastime with both men and women competitors.  Keirin is another sport on which the Japanese place wagers. Like Kyoutei it originated in Japan but spread to Korea as well. A form of bike racing, most participants are male, however a few females do enjoy the sport.

To further enhance these types of gambling, Japan now permits casino gambling. After fifteen long years of working toward this means, legalized casino gambling is expected to augment the Japanese economy and increase tourism. This measure just became effective in December of 2016, which means it will take even more years for casino complexes to be built. Some estimate the first casino will not open for about five more years. Some casino games such as mah-jong, pachinko and the lottery can be played online for money. However, traditional internet casino games are illegal in Japan. Until the Japanese casinos become fully operational, many will travel to Macau to enjoy the casinos there.

With this new age of gambling dawning in Japan, it will be interesting to see the benefits from the industry as well as its affects on gambling in nearby countries.