Japans public gambling on the rise with boat racing sales up 36% in 2020

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Boat racing is a popular sport to bet on in Japan.


The Japan Motor Boat Racing Association has announced increased sales and users in 2020, with its Annual Report showing sales for the year topped JPY2.09 trillion (US$19 billion), an increase of 35.7% from the previous year.

The JPY500 billion (US$4.5 billion) year-on-year increase meant 2020 was the first time annual sales for boat races have broken the JPY2 trillion barrier in 28 years the last coming in 1992 when sales were JPY 2.08 trillion (US$18.9 billion).

The total number of user transactions in 2020 was 378.2 million, an increase of 8.2%.

The record high stands at JPY 2.2 trillion (US$19.9 billion), achieved in 1991, however 2020 sales figures threatened that figure for the first time in years.

Officials cited the spread of internet betting in the COVID-19 pandemic and inflow from the pachinko/pachislot industry as reasons for the strong performance, adding that 2021 has started off in a similarly impressive fashion.

The Japan Racing Association also recently announced a 3.5% increase in sales in 2020 to JPY2.9 trillion (US$26.3 billion).