Telephone betting was instituted in 1974 as a service for racing fans who lived far from racecourses or betting facilities, and also to relieve congestion at betting windows. Members who subscribe for these services with JRA can place bets by phone and internet, after which the payment of bet amounts and receipt of payouts are handled automatically via members' bank accounts after each race. To date, there are three telephone betting membership categories: A-PAT, Soku-PAT and ARS.
A-PAT and Soku-PAT members can place bets over the Internet from a mobile phone or personal computer. A-PAT and ARS members can use the telephone (touch tone line) to place their bets. As of the end of 2007, with about 2.38 million A-PAT members, 550,000 Soku-PAT members and 50,000 ARS members, total membership is approaching 3 million.
A-PAT members can utilize IPAT system and ARS.
- (A) IPAT (Internet Personal Access Terminal)
- The IPAT system enables bets to be placed over the Internet by using a personal computer or a mobile phone. Information about odds, horse weights, and racecourse information and event news can be accessed via the Internet.
- (B) ARS (AUDIO RESPONSE SYSTEM)
This method utilizes touch tone telephones to place bets.
Soku-PAT is a system connected to Internet banking, whose members can also place a bet through the Internet by personal computer or mobile phone. If applicants have an Internet banking account at a designated bank, they can obtain JRA telephone betting membership and use Internet betting starting on the same day by applying for Soku-PAT membership on the Internet. It is possible to add or withdraw money on the day of the race, and in just two years since it started in 2005, approximately 550,000 customers have joined.
ARS is supported by many racing fans, but recently, personal computer and mobile phones users have become the majority and the number of ARS users have been declining.