Gambling age maintained at 20

The Japanese government is in the process of revising the Civil Code in order to lower the age of adulthood from 20 to 18 years old. However, it has reportedly been decided that this change will not be applied to gambling, meaning the 18- and 19-year-olds will continue to be legally barred from horse racing, bicycle racing, boat racing, auto racing, and, ultimately, the casino element of the forthcoming IRs.

Pachinko, however, which is not recognized as a form of gambling under the law in spite of being the overwhelming source of gambling addiction in the country, will continue to be open to 18-year-olds.

“Coming of Age Day” has long been a revered cultural occasion for 20-year-olds in Japan, but recently the government has decided to move forward with long-delayed plans to allow younger people to vote in elections and to become legal adults.

Polls have shown that one of the key reasons why the establishment of IRs remain deeply unpopular with the Japanese general public is the notion that they may have a corrupting moral influence on the nation’s youth. This decision to maintain the gambling age at 20 appears to reflect these concerns.