Tokyo, Japan –The Japanese Racing Association (JRA) is planning to relax restrictions at several of its off-track betting (OTB) locations, with venues able to accept bets on a broader range of races starting September 26.
Operations at the JRA’s OTB sites have been restricted ever since its network started to reopen in July 2020, after a period of closure due to the ongoing global Covid-19 crisis.
Although several locations have been allowed to reopen, certain restrictions remain as the association wants to avoid spreading the virus. One such restriction involves only allowing punters to bet on certain races.
But from September 26, the JRA’s Park Wins, Wins and J-Place OTB venues in the Kansai, Kanto, and Tokai areas will be allowed to accept bets on races nine to 12 at all racecourses, and also races open to prior-day bets.
The said locations were previously restricted to taking bets only on the day’s featured race at all racecourses, and races on which prior-day bets could be placed.
The JRA also announced that it will resume some operations at its Excel Hakata and Excel Hamamatsu locations starting September 26. The Wins Urawa and J-Place Kanazawa locations will resume operations the next day.
These locations will continue to operate under strict measures and must close by 2pm every day. They are also not allowed to show live race footage or show odds information.
Other measures that must remain enforced across all JRA locations include cleaning and regular disinfection of high-touch surfaces, and the installation of plexiglass barriers and vinyl curtains at certain areas.
JRA staff, meanwhile, will have their temperature taken, their physical condition recorded, and hands disinfected before they start work. They are also required to wear masks, gloves and face shields at work.
Customers visiting the venues are also required to have their temperature taken upon entry. Those who exhibit Covid-19 symptoms will be denied entry. The number of people allowed in the venue will also be limited, and those inside will be required to wear a face covering, observe proper social distancing and sanitize their hands.