Japan—The Japan Racing Association (JRA) announced that horse racing events in the country will continue to be held behind closed doors to help prevent the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) from spreading any further.
Race meetings were shut to the public from February 29, but the JRA said last month that the Niigata Racecourse would reopen to spectators from August 15 to September 6.
But due to increasing Covid-19 cases in Japan in the past few weeks, the JRA has suspended the reopening of the venue, and decided that racing would remain behind closed doors.
Events at the Kokura and Sapporo Racecourses will also continue to be held behind closed doors. The JRA has yet to announce any plans to allow customers back into the tracks.
“As this suspension comes after a reopening was already announced, we must apologize for the great inconvenience caused to our customers who already reserved our purchased seats,” the JRA said. “We also apologize for the concern this may have caused customers of JRA racing,” it added.
The JRA said last month that it would continue reopening off-track betting facilities, with all venues to observe limited opening hours and customers subject to strict safety measures. Customers can cash out winning tickets and place bets, however televised racing and odds information will not be shown in the outlets. Business hours are also restricted from 9am to 2pm.