Japan considers online lottery expansion

  • Japan looking to arrest decline in lottery sales with online lottery expansion
  • Drop is sales is having wide reaching impacts

Japan is discussing expanding its online lottery sales by planning to approve the sale of all lottery products via the internet, with proposed changes coming at a time when Japan’s legislators have also been discussing new restrictions on some forms of gambling.

Japan considers lottery expansion
Japan considers lottery expansion

However due to the fact that Japan’s lottery sales have been dwindling, efforts are now being made to boost the number of tickets sold. The changes would reportedly take effect from the start of the fiscal year 2018, according to reports in the Yomiuri Shimbun.

Lottery sales a far cry from 2005 peak

In fiscal 2016, lottery sales totalled just ¥845.2b, equivalent to US $7.8b, which was nowhere near Japan’s peak lottery sales of ¥1.1t in fiscal 2005.

The fiscal year of 2016 total was the fifth year in a row that lottery sales have stayed below the ¥1t mark.

Japan already approved a small number of online lottery ticket sales back in January 2014 and around 40% of all lottery products were available online by fiscal 2016.

However despite this, online sales only accounted for 3.6% of all of Japan’s lottery sales.

Wider impacts of drop in sales

Poor lottery sales in Japan have impacted the country as a whole, with funds such as the anti-disaster preparation suffering from a lack of lottery revenue, which they rely on to carry out their work.

Currently, the majority of lottery tickets must be bought from outlets or automated machines, however these have not proved an effective means of selling lottery tickets in recent years.

Many now believe that opening the market up online is the only way to revive struggling lottery sales.

Despite Japan’s legislators attempting to restrict online race betting recently, as well as plans for land-based casino legalisation still being met with criticism, it appears that lottery sales could certainly see an expansion as Japan looks to save its long-suffering competition.

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