Japan to authorize sale of lottery tickets online

In a bid to boost sales, Japanese authorities will be allowing the sale of lottery tickets over the internet starting in October, Japan Times reports.

The internal affairs ministry made the announcement on Friday, noting that tickets for most public-run lotteries will be available online.

Gamblers will need to register as members on the website to buy tickets, and winnings will be wired to the winners’ designated bank accounts.

“One reason (to push the online option) is because lottery sales have been decreasing,” said a ministry official.

Sales of lottery tickets have been on the decline since its peak in 2005, with lottery sales reaching just over JPY 845 billion (US$7.7 billion) in 2016.

The official noted that around 93 percent of lottery tickets are sold at outlets near train stations – but their business hours are limited.

The official also said that being able to buy lottery tickets online may help with sales from the younger generation.