On Monday, Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA) and Consumer Agency issued a warning to a wide range of media in which they declared the use of offshore online gambling sites a crime.
The disclaimer reads: “Have you ever heard that using online casinos as an individual is legal as long as the site is legally operated overseas? Even if an online casino is operated while legally overseas, logging in from Japan and then gambling on the site is illegal. There is a precedent of online casino users being arrested for gambling-related crimes. Gambling is a crime. Stay away.”
The warning also provides two examples of users being arrested for using online casinos:
(1) A user who logged on to an online casino site operated by a foreign company using a home computer and then played against a dealer on that website, was arrested for a simple misdemeanor related to gambling activities.
(2) An individual who provided a user with access to an online casino site on an overseas server via a computer at his home and allowed him to place bets in Japan was arrested for habitual gambling . The user was also arrested for a simple crime related to gambling activities.
According to Japanese law, the penalty for gambling-related offenses is a maximum fine of 500,000 JPY (3,380 USD) or up to three years in prison.
The NPA said it made 18 arrests in 2019, 16 in 2020 and another 16 in 2021 for online casino gambling offenses, all committed at gambling establishments.