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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 February 21 - 27  > Professional baseball lotto could affect fair play in games: Akahata
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2018 February 21 - 27 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Professional baseball lotto could affect fair play in games: Akahata

February 23, 2018
The Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) will launch full-scale discussions on the introduction of a lottery system in Japan's most popular professional sport. The baseball lottery could start as early as 2019, Akahata learned on February 22.

Many people in the Japanese pro baseball industry oppose gambling due to the painful memory of the "Black Fog" incident that shook the entire nation in 1969. Several crime syndicates had a pitcher in their back pockets, which resulted in the involvement of several other players in game-fixing schemes.

Still fresh in pro-baseball fans' memories is the scandal three years ago in which three Giants pitchers had been laying wagers on not only pro baseball games but also on high school baseball tournaments.

The legitimation of baseball gambling will certainly increase the possibility of giving the incentive for crime syndicates to become involved.

Former chief of the Security Bureau of the National Police Agency, Kawashima Hiromori raised the alarm regarding the introduction of legalized gambling, saying, "Without doubt, it will give a boost to illegal bookies and bucket shop operators and the public may no longer feel the social stigma associated with gambling."

To ensure fair play in sport competitions is an absolute must for sports organizations. Therefore, it is incumbent upon them to not opt for something that could distort their most important principle.

Past related articles:
> Olympic Minister intends to expand sports gambling [December 19, 2015]
> Sumo association must root out illegal gambling and ties with gangsters - Akahata editorial (excerpts) [June 18, 2010]
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