Japan is well known for their love of baseball. Now, the government is considering creating a baseball theme for a new sports lottery. Thursday, February 22, 2018, Japanese Media explained a meeting that occurred on Wednesday. The Nippon Professional Baseball Organization and representatives from the twelve pro league teams met to discuss the baseball sports lottery.
The Japan Sports Promotion lottery is usually themed on football products, which the US would call soccer. The Japan Sports Council provides the product and is government-backed. The lottery shows earnings of $1 billion for 2016.
The lottery has pool-style set-up, in which the player can select their favorite team or the Toto-Big version, which allows the computer to pick a team as the winner for the corresponding matches.
According to the media, none of the twelve pro teams in baseball had negative thoughts about the lottery proposal. The government will need to gain approval from the players and umpires. However, it is suspected that the new lottery will be available as early as 2019.
The Football Lottery
The football lottery will not disappear for anyone who might be concerned that it is going to be replaced. Instead, like the football-themed lottery, the baseball option will allow some of the revenue from the lottery to be used for baseball products that help the sports teams. Other income will be turned over to the government for funding other sports in Japan.
A part of the reason why Japan may have decided to increase their lotteries and the funding the government earns from them is the 2020 Summer Olympics, which are set in Tokyo. The funds would certainly help pay for the sports teams who would be going to the Olympics and potentially be used to help increase some of the arenas they have to accommodate the big games.
The downside is the history of baseball and gambling. There were several scandals back in the 1970s regarding illegal bets on baseball games. The government is also aware of gambling addiction, which could increase with more lotteries available.
Since 2005, lottery sales have decreased. The government is hoping to reverse this current trend as a way to gain more finances. In January, the internal affairs ministry said they would start selling lottery products online in October 2018. It is just another way to make it easy for people to take part in the lottery, and open the path for those who wish to enjoy the baseball theme when it launches.