July 22, 2020

Japan and Singapore betting shops reopen as lockdown is lifted

Japan and Singapore betting shops reopen as lockdown is lifted

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Off-track betting venues in both Singapore and Japan continue to reopen as each country slowly gets back on its feet after their respective novel coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdowns.

The Singapore Pools’ Livewire venues reopened on July 20, with live betting and screening of sports resuming. Each venue, however, has imposed a limit of 50 people per floor, with regular cleaning and social distancing measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

Customers over 60 years of age, or those with medical conditions that may put the at greater risk from Covid-19 are advised to stay away from the venues, and place bets online instead.

The Livewire estate and off-track betting facilities were shut down from March 26, and online betting and lottery draws were suspended from April 7. This effectively shut down all of Singapore Pools business.

Online betting resumed on June 15, and lottery sales followed suit a week later, ahead of the first draw of the 4D lottery on June 24.

Japan

Meanwhile in Japan, the Japanese Racing Authority (JRA) has carried on with reopening its off-track betting facilities. However, venues are subject to limited opening hours and customers are subject to strict safety protocols.

Customers can cash out winning tickets and still place bets, but televised racing will no longer be shown in the outlets, and no odds information will be displayed. Business hours will be restricted from 9am to 2pm, which means there are certain races on which shops won’t accept wagers for.

Seven venues will reopen on July 25, followed by two more on July 26.

This follows the reopening of 23 venues on July 11, and another six a week later.

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