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Tuesday, Sep. 11, 2012

Aso, other lawmakers eyeing new sports lotteries to raise Olympic funds


A group of lawmakers from both the ruling and opposition camps is pitching an idea to launch new sports lotteries that will add to the existing Toto soccer lottery.

The group, chaired by former Prime Minister Taro Aso, is also calling for the jackpot to be raised from the current ¥300 million, sources in the group said.

The new lotteries are being studied as a way to help raise funds for the 2020 Summer Olympics, which Tokyo is seeking to host, the sources said.

They said the group intends to submit a bill with the necessary revisions during an extraordinary Diet session expected to convene this fall.

A plan worked out by the group calls for allowing sports lottery ticket sales revenues to be used to prepare for the 2020 Games.

At present, the sports lottery is limited to results from the Japan Professional Football League, or J. League. The draft proposes expanding the scope to include international soccer tournaments, the sources said.

Basketball, volleyball and rugby could be added on condition they are operated stably as professional sports.

The group hopes to raise the top prize to around ¥750 million, in line with the maximum jackpot in public lotteries.

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