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Can You Bet On Horse Races In Japan?

Horse racing has long been a popular sport in Japan, with the first official race taking place in 1866. Horse racing is seen as a symbol of Japanese culture and is a popular form of gambling in the country. Many people are curious to know if it is possible to bet on horse races in Japan, and the answer is yes. In this article, we’ll take a look at how you can bet on horse races in Japan, the different types of bets available, and the regulations surrounding the sport.

What Kinds of Horse Races Can You Bet On?

In Japan, there are two kinds of horse races which you can bet on: flat racing and jump racing. Flat racing, also known as thoroughbred racing, takes place on a flat track and involves horses racing for a set distance. Jump racing, also known as National Hunt racing, involves horses jumping over obstacles such as fences and ditches. Both types of races are held at different tracks across Japan, and you can bet on either type of race.

Types of Bets

When betting on horse races in Japan, you can choose from a variety of different types of bets. The most common type of bet is the win bet, which involves predicting the horse that will win the race. Other popular bets include place bets, which involve predicting which horses will place in the top three, and each-way bets, which involve predicting which horses will place in the top two.

How to Place a Bet

In order to place a bet on a horse race in Japan, you will need to visit a licensed betting shop. At the shop, you will be able to view the odds for each horse in the race and place your bet. Some betting shops also allow you to place bets online, which can be more convenient for some people.

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In Japan, there are strict regulations in place which govern betting on horse races. All betting shops must be licensed by the government, and only individuals over the age of 20 are allowed to place bets. All winnings from horse racing bets must be reported to the government, and any bets which involve non-Japanese citizens must be declared to the government.

Bonuses and Promotions

In addition to the standard types of bets, some betting shops offer bonuses and promotions which can make betting on horse races in Japan even more lucrative. For example, some shops offer cash back when you place a certain number of bets, while others offer free bets or other special offers.

Horse Racing Events

In Japan, there are a number of major horse racing events which take place throughout the year. These include the Japan Cup, the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby), and the Japan Racing Association Cup. These events attract large crowds and offer some of the best betting opportunities in the country.

Traveling to Japan

If you are interested in betting on horse races in Japan, it is important to note that you will need to travel to the country in order to do so. This can be done through a variety of means, including flights, trains, and buses. It is important to research the different options available to you and make sure that you have all the necessary documents before you travel.


Betting on horse races in Japan can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it is important to make sure that you understand the rules and regulations before you start. By doing your research and familiarizing yourself with the different types of bets available, you can make sure that you get the most out of your experience. With the right knowledge and preparation, betting on horse races in Japan can be an exciting and profitable activity.