APN News

  • Tuesday, July, 2021| Today's Market | Current Time: 02:32:43
  • Japan and Canada are considering changes to the current legislations concerning sports betting. The proposed revision of the Sports Promotion Voting Law was passed at the upper house plenary session in Japan last week. This coincides with the recent announcement from the government of Canada that unveiled legislation to legalize single-event sports betting in the country. 

    Sports betting in Japan

    With the proposed amendment, Japanese basketball B-League will be added to the offerings of the Japanese sports promotion lottery (toto). This means that Japanese people can make a single bet on new markets of basketball predictions such as single match results and year-round ranking predictions. Currently, the Japanese toto is the only legal option for the nationals to wager on football with selected markets of J-League, Premier League and Bundesliga. Meanwhile, the people are increasingly opting to wager with Japanese bookmakers offering bonuses

    The toto is run by the Japan Sport Council (JSC) under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Two-thirds of the obtained toto sales profits are allocated to support local sports organizations and local governments. The subsidies are used for the development of local sports facilities as well as sports competitions. 

    The sales revenue of the toto was 93.8 billion yen in 2019. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the toto sales are likely to decline significantly. With the new amendment, the JSC projects the sales to increase up to 148.4 billion yen. 

    Sports betting in Canada

    According to the Canadian Justice Minister, the legislation aims to make sports betting legal, regulated and safe. Canadian spending on illegal bookmakers is estimated to account for $7.7 billion (USD) per year for single-event sports betting. It was a welcome news especially for cities like Niagara Falls and Windsor which have long been supporting the amendments to the Criminal Code to decriminalize single-game sports betting. 

    With the proposed changes provinces and territories can regulate and issue licenses for sports betting operators to accept Canadian bettors to wager on all kinds of sports other than horse racing. The prospect with the amendments highlights economic incentives for provinces as a boost to multiple local industries like tourism, sports, and gaming. 

    Japan and Canada – potentially lucrative markets for sports betting

    Under the current legislation, “lottery” is the only legal option to wager on sports in both Japan and Canada. While the new amendments will allow single bets in the two countries, the proposed change in Japan will not change the framework of the lottery. In turn, Canada is taking a step further in embracing full sports betting with odds. The current move of legalizing sports betting in the US has clearly influenced Canadian government. In contrast, Japan still shares similar situations with neighboring countries such as Korea and China, still limiting legal options of sports betting.