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Japan’s online lottery market could be about to open up

Regional online lottery companies in Asia will be hoping that the Japanese government's reported consideration of regulations permitting online sales of all types of lottery tickets comes to fruition. The reports surfaced this week in the publication Yomiuri Shimbun, revealing that online sales could be allowed as early as fiscal 2018.

If approved, the new regulations will open up the lottery sector significantly; currently the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications issues permits to provincial and city local governments to sell lottery tickets through more traditional routes such as ATMs and distribution centres, with only limited online sales of specific lottery types permitted.

Japanese lottery sales have slipped over the past 11 years, declining by 842.2 billion Yen from a peak in 2005 of 1.1 trillion Yen, and the National Autonomous Lottery Council has predicted that opening up online sales will have a considerable beneficial effect, boosting ticket sales to new levels.

The project remains under discussion.

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