Football gaming causes Japanese computer crash

Japan’s football gambling agency suspended sales in a football betting competition after the system crashed on a deluge of people seeking to win more than US$ 6 million dollars. The computer failure to handle millions of buying orders, forcing the National Agency for the Advancement of Sports and Health to halt sales on Tuesday. “Legally speaking, those who hold the tickets so far would be eligible for the results, but I don’t know how the agency will handle this emergency situation,” an agency spokesman said. Japan has few legal betting venues other than horse-racing, although its thousands of noisy “pachinko” pinball parlours are seen as a thinly disguised form of gambling.

Japan introduced a football lottery in November 1998 in hopes of financing the then fledgling J-League and creating interest in the sport in the nation of baseball and sumo. The lottery drew little interest until the creation in September of BIG, which has drawn in players looking to get rich quickly. Players of BIG bet on a combination of match results in the J-League and win if a computer randomly selects their choice, AFP reported.