Horse racing

JRA to reopen more off-track betting facilities

2 minutes read
The Japanese Racing Association has set out plans for a partial reopening of more of its Park Wins, Wins and J-Place off-track betting facilities from Saturday 12 September.

The Japanese Racing Association has set out plans for a partial reopening of more of its Park Wins, Wins and J-Place off-track betting (OTB) facilities from Saturday 12 September.

After closing all OTB facilities in February as a result of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, facilities began reopening in July 2020.

Restrictions on opening hours, betting ticket sales and payouts will be put in place. Races will not be televised and odds information will not be provided in the facilities, and additional safety measures will be put in place to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (covid-19).

Several of the facilities will reopen to accept wagers on each feature race taking place at all racecourses and races open to prior-day wagers. Others will open to accept bets on races 9 through 12, and on races open to prior-day wagers.

Restrictions to prevent the spread Covid-19 will be put in place, including temperature and health checks for employees, and mandatory use of face coverings and gloves for employees coming into direct contact with customers.

Facilities will benefit from increased ventilation and the use of plexiglass and vinyl barriers, as well as increased cleaning and sanitation in high-touch areas. Social distancing measures will also be in place.

For customers, JRA will take temperature checks prior to allowing them entry to the facilities, while face coverings must be warn, and social distancing measures respected.

Customers who have been in close contact with anyone who has travelled to regions or countries that have a government travel restriction, or those arriving from such places will not be permitted in the facilities for 14 days.

Patrons have also been advised to make their visits as quick as possible, while media halls, chairs and smoking areas within the facilities will not be available for use. If there is congestion at the facilities, entrance may be restricted.

It was recently decided that Japanese racing will remain behind closed doors until at least 4 October, maintaining measures in place since 29 February.

The JRA announced in September that it has made a financial contribution of JPY5.5bn (£39.85m/€43.79m/$51.83m) to the local prefectures where its racecourses are located, to Japan’s National Hospital Organisation, and the Japan Organisation of Occupational Health and Safety, as well as the Japan Student Services Organisation and the Central Community Chest of Japan for social welfare services.

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