Authorities in Japan are set to allow the sale of lottery tickets online from October, according to reports in the Japan Times.
Japan’s internal affairs ministry announced the move on Friday, confirming that tickets for most of the country’s public-run lotteries will be made available to be purchased online.
From October individuals will be able to buy tickets online for the Jumbo Takarakuji series, which are sold five times annually and offers a prize of ¥1 billion, as well as regular Takarakuji tickets and the Numbers and Loto series.
Predominantly lottery tickets are operated by local governments in Japan and major Japanese cities, with a portion of lottery revenues being retained and used as part of their annual budgets.
Any individual wanting to buy tickets online will be required to register for membership on the lottery website, with winnings being paid electronically to their respective bank account.
An official at the ministry said “One reason (to push the online option) is because lottery sales have been decreasing.”
Japanese lottery ticket sales have been on the slide since 2005, when revenue from sales topped ¥1.1 trillion.
In 2016 revenue from ticket sales was just over ¥845 billion, with almost 93% of tickets reportedly sold at retail outlets across Japan. Sales to those aged 50 or older account for over 60% of all lottery ticket sales in stores.
Seiko Noda, Japanese Internal affairs minister said she hopes to see the new service attract 500,000 users in its first six months and is aiming to attract younger players.
Noda said: “efforts to reach potential customers in younger generations have been weak, and that expanding sales channels to web and smartphones is needed.”