Coming Soon to Japan: Online Lottery Ticket Sales
In an effort to boost lagging sales, Japanese officials have announced that beginning in November, lottery tickets will be available for sale online. This is a big move for the Japanese lottery and provides a window into the changing demographic profile of the Japanese people and their changing gambling habits.
Online lottery ticket sales will focus on the popular Jumbo Takarakuji series. Jumbo Takarakuji is a national lottery game which is played five times a year and features of jackpot of ¥1 billion ($921 million USD). Tickets for smaller games, like Takarakuji tickets and the Numbers and Loto series, will also be available for sale online.
Players who wish to participate in online ticket sales will need to register an account with the lottery and will receive cash prizes directly to their personal bank accounts.
The push for online sales is part of a larger effort to get Japanese people to buy more lottery tickets. In recent years, ticket sales have slumped considerably. According to a report in the Japan Times, sales of lottery tickets in Japan have been lagging for years. In 2005, they sold about ¥1 trillion worth of tickets. In 2016 that amount was closer to ¥845 billion.
Lottery officials are focusing their marketing efforts for online ticket sales on the country’s legions of daily mass transit commuters, who account for around 93 percent of all ticket sales. Officials are hoping that the move to online ticket sales will encourage commuters to buy tickets when they’re at home, too. Whether those commuters will buck decades worth of learned behavior and start buying tickets during all times of the day is something we’ll find out beginning in October.