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Reports JAPAN


Te Jumbo lottery is said to be the richest lottery in Asia usually offering a prize pool of around ¥1bn with five annual ticket releases. Te tickets are sold by the Mizuho Bank and until 2003 were not offered to players living overseas.


Te lottery originated in Japan in the 1600s and were banned and resurrected many times until being banned entirely in 1842. After more than 100 years the lottery was revived in 1945 and the Takara-kuji lotteries were used to rebuild the country.


Te Jumbo lottery is said to be the richest lottery in Asia usually offering a prize pool of around ¥1bn with five annual ticket releases. Te tickets are sold by the Mizuho Bank and until 2003 were not offered to players living overseas.


Other games include the Hyaku-en Kuji (one hundred yen lottery), Bingo 5, Loto series and Number series and scratchcards.


Meanwhile in a bid to boost slumping sales the lottery tickets will be available to buy online from October this year. Sales of the lottery have been falling since they peaked in 2005. At that time ¥1.1trillion worth of tickets were sold compared to ¥845bn in 2016.


Te offering of tickets online opens up the market to those who cannot buy from the ticket outlets plus aims to reach the younger generation by expanding sales networks to the


P118 NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE /MARKET DATA


web and smart phones. Bicycle Racing or Keirin is a home grown sport which began in 1948 and involves a group of cyclists on bikes with no brakes which do laps of a course paced by a motorbike. It was set up originally solely for the purpose of gambling but in 2000 became an Olympic event. Typically races are 1.5 kilometres long.


Keirin racing in Japan is regulated by the JKA Foundation and is run and supported by the government and sees around ¥600bn in bets per year with some 4.9 million attendees. Keen Keirin riders compete for an entry into a Keirin school and undergo strict 15 hour per day training. Tere are numerous Keirin velodromes throughout Japan and off track betting sites. But revenues in this sport have been decreasing since 1991. At this time they generated ¥19.6bn in revenue and saw 27.4 million visitors to the velodromes. By 2013 the revenue figure had dropped to ¥6bn and 4.2 million visitors and today is much the same.


It seems the sport is not very attractive to women or the younger generation and there has been a push since 2012 for female cyclists who were then permitted to take part in the sport.


Meanwhile soccer gambling or professional Japanese soccer (the J-League) is packaged into the Toto. People can buy Toto tickets at 6,000 sanctioned Toto booths.


Te Toto was launched in 2001 and was the nation’s first soccer ‘lottery’ where players can bet on 13 selected J1 and J2 league games per week. Tere is a ¥100 per line bet and prizes of up to ¥200m jackpots.


In 2006 the Toto introduced BIG which enabled random guesses and boosted the games as the odds became greater.


Finally government sponsored boat racing (or Kyotei) gambling has been a part of Japan’s gambling fixture since 1952 when it was introduced from the US. Since 1980 it has been known as boat race and designed specifically for betting with proceeds going to the Nippon Foundation. In 2010 the Kyotei Promotion Association was set up to promote the sport.


Tere are today 24 venues in Japan and pari- mutuel betting is legal at the course. Six hydroplane speed boats race three laps around a 600m course with bets to predict the winners.


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