Fortunately, this all changed. When the world entered the 2000s, long gone were the days when gambling and having fun were linked to negative connotations, such as violence, public disturbance, and riots. Nowadays, gambling in Japan is organized, and having fun is no longer associated with crime. And nowadays, esports betting has become part of the picture.
This significant change to gambling also has to do with the popularity of the internet in Japan. Decades ago, it was challenging for most people in the country to access the internet. But as of the 2000s, that challenge was no more. Nowadays, a person can go almost anywhere and access the internet. And the easier the access to the internet is, the more people will want to access esports betting sites.
The support of the Japanese government for esports betting can seem overwhelming. NTTe-Sports, the competitive gaming subsidiary of telecommunications corporation NTT, and Tokyo Verdy's e-sports spinoff (which plays games outside the sports genre as well) support eSports High School, with members of Verde active in student education.
If the concept of a gaming high school is perplexing, keep in mind that high school in Japan is not part of the obligatory education system, and high schools with a trade school-like component to their curriculum are not uncommon. "Professional gaming, as a vocation, is incredibly challenging, and therefore our goal is to provide students with abilities that can be applied not just in competitive gaming, but in a variety of ways," the eSports High School website states.
Future of esports in Japan
Looking ahead, the fate of esports and esports betting in Japan is about to get better. Of many things, this is linked to the fact that Japan is a country that embraces change. The Japanese people, who tend to be lifelong learners, are also worth crediting for this optimistic outlook on esports and the betting industry's future.
In 2022 and beyond, a clarification of the legal status of esports betting in the country would undoubtedly aid the industry's development. It remains to be seen whether the Japanese government, which has hitherto been hesitant to legalize many various types of betting, will move to explain the situation.
Given the popularity of esports like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, League of Legends, CS: GO, and Overwatch in particular, as well as the unique characteristics of the Japanese market in terms of the most popular esports titles, some clarity on esports betting would be quite beneficial.