Beginner’s Must-see! Introduction To Horse Racing: Public Gambling In Japan

Beginner’s Must-see! Introduction To Horse Racing: Public Gambling In Japan


Tourism & Entertainment

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “Gambling?”
A majority of Japanese people will probably answer “Pachinko/Slot machines.” This is because in central areas, these gambling stores are ran in first-class districts at station fronts, thus residents have more opportunity of coming across them.
However, Pachinko and Slot gambling is not actually examples of public gambling (gambling run by the country/local government). Instead, they classify as non-official gambling.

Then, how about official gambling, or public gambling?
“Horse racing” “bicycle race” “motor race”, etc, is probably what everyone will answer.
Today, we will focus on one of these gambling sports, “Horse racing.”

1.The big picture of gambling: how it works
2.Quick and easy horse race rules
3.What is the race course like?

We will guide you through Japan’s horse racing with these three sections!


The Difference Between Non-official and Public Gambling

Public gambling is gambling that has been authorized by the local government or special corporations (horse racing is authorized by a special corporation called JRA).
Other gambling that classify besides horse racing are bicycle races, boat races, and motor races.
As for the flow of income, based on the Horse Racing Act, 75% of the sales is plowed back to the winning bettors, and what is left of the 25% income after taking away expenditures(e.g., prizes for jockeys and operating costs) will be paid to the country.
The government utilizes this income chiefly on livestock promotion industry and social welfare service.

On the other hand, non-official gambling, which mainly refers to Pachinko and Slots, is said to have a reduction rate of around 85%. The rest is subtracted by operation costs, and the remaining income becomes the store’s profit.
Just looking at these numbers, you may assume you can make more money by gambling with Pachinko than horse racing. However, public gambling days and time are restricted by the law, whereas Pachinko stores do not have these restrictions, allowing them to operate 7 days a week from morning till night.
Inevitably, you will be gambling more times on Pachinko, leading to negative results in total.
This convenient style of gambling, where stores allow you to gamble anytime you want, is possibly the reason why so many people in Japan are addicted to non-official gambling like Pachinko and Slot.


Let’s Begin Horse Race Gambling ~Basic Rules~

The earlier sections had been a little difficult, so let’s move on to more fun content about how to gamble at a horse racing!

Some of you may not like the idea of gambling at first, but not just horse racing but public gambling in general can be participated from a mere 100 yen per race. The lowly set bar for participation, is one of the many charms of horse race gambling.

Now we will tell you about the rules.

To put it simply, horse race gambling is “A game of predicting the ranking of competing horses.”

Depending on the race, the number of competing horses differ, from a minimum of 5 horses to a maximum of 18. As these horses race to the goal, you have to decide which one you think ranks first to third place. If your guess is correct, you will earn a dividend based on the odds.

Basic ways to purchase tickets are as follows:

①Win (Bet on only the 1st place horse)
②Place (Bet on one horse that will rank above 3rd place, if it ranks either 1st, 2nd, or 3rd you win)
③Quinella (Bet on two horses that will rank 1st and 2nd. The order may switch)
④Exacta (Bet on two horses that will rank 1st and 2nd. Order must also be correct)

There are still more, but we will keep it to just these four to make it simple.

As for the chances, races that are easier to win will be low, and harder ones will be high. Here, the 2. Place will offer the lowest division, whereas 4.Exacta will offer the highest.


Female Fans Are Also Increasing! What Is A Race Course Like?

Horse racing is becoming really hot now.

If you are still imagining elder men constantly cursing, floor littered with half-eaten corn dogs and cigarette ends, you’re in for a surprise.
These days, top actors and actresses promote the race on TV commercials, and the race courses have caught the public’s attention as a leisure spot. The largest scale race course operated by JRA is the “Tokyo Race Course.”
Inside the entrance gates, there is a magnificent scale race course. Not only can you enjoy the race itself, you can also watch hero shows playing inside the boundary, and enjoy a great variety of foods sold at stalls run by famous food shops. The numerous events the race course has in store can amuse even families and couples!
In addition, there are also free seminars for gambling beginners where you can learn from step one, as well as seminars for middle to expert level gamblers.

I will tell you one of my favorite food sold at the race.

It is the “Koichiro’s Mocha Soft Serve.” The gentle scent of coffee gives a great accent to its rich sweetness, and even though it is a soft serve, the after taste is quite refreshing. I recommend you try it!


[Notes from the Writer]

Did you enjoy reading this article? I simply introduced the big picture of gambling and horse racing.
For me, eating a soft serve reminds me of my childhood days and makes me excited and relaxed all at once…it is decided, I will be going to the race course again this weekend!

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