Sports lot­tery sales surge

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By QI­UQUAN­LIN in Guangzhou qi­uquan­lin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China’s sports lot­tery de­vel­oped rapidly last year thanks to in­creased en­thu­si­asm for in­ter­na­tional sports events such as the­World Cup in Brazil and the grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity of on­line bet­ting,

Ac­cord­ing to theM­i­nistry of Fi­nance, sports lot­tery sales grew 32.8 per­cent year-onyear to 176.41 bil­lion yuan ($28.38 bil­lion), well ahead of in­dus­try ex­pec­ta­tions of 100 bil­lion yuan, ac­count­ing for nearly half of China’s to­tal lot­tery sales, which in­creased 23.6 per­cent from the pre­vi­ous year to 382.38 bil­lion yuan. The num­ber of peo­ple buy­ing sports lot­tery tick­ets also in­creased.

“Large in­ter­na­tional sport events, in­clud­ing the World Cup, be­came ma­jor fac­tors in boost­ing sales of lot­ter­ies, es­pe­cially via the In­ter­net,” said Xie Liang, a veteran sports com­men­ta­tor with Ra­dio Guang­dong.

Lot­ter­ies tar­geted at spe­cific sports events or com­pe­ti­tions also grew sharply by 81.7 per­cent year-on-year to 61.48 bil­lion yuan. Growth of on­line lot­tery sales

The sports lot­tery was in­tro­duced to raise funds for the 1990 Asian Games in Beijing. Un­der the lot­tery man­age­ment rules, after ad­min­is­tra­tive fees and jack­pot pay­ments are made, the net pro­ceeds go to pub­lic wel­fare projects.

“Sales of lot­ter­ies for the World Cup in­creased dra­mat­i­cally last year,” said Wang Huqing, a lot­tery store owner in Guangzhou, the cap­i­tal of Guang­dong prov­ince.

“Many did not buy sports lot­tery tick­ets un­til theWorldCup be­gan in June, but now more have be­come reg­u­lar buy­ers since the event,” Wang said, pre­dict­ing sales will con­tinue an up­ward trend after China an­nounced the in­tro­duc­tion of more com­pe­ti­tions, in­clud­ing those for soc­cer leagues in­Rus­sia, Chile andMex­ico.

Ac­cord­ing to CaiTong Con­sult­ing, a do­mes­tic lot­tery con­sult­ing firm, lot­tery sales for the Asian Cup, cur­rently be­ing held in Aus­tralia, reached nearly 2 bil­lion yuan from Jan 12 to Jan 18, a new weekly record since the­World Cup.

On­line lot­tery sales also in­creased sharply last year, the fig­ures showed, with a grow­ing num­ber of In­ter­net ser­vice providers se­cur­ing sharp rev­enue in­creases.

500.com Ltd, a New-York listed firm, for in­stance, saw net rev­enues in­crease 171.1 per­cent year-on-year in the third quar­ter of last year, ac­cord­ing to company sources.

In­sid­ers said uncer­tain­ties ex­ist in the mar­ket as the au­thor­i­ties con­sider mea­sures to reg­u­late the in­dus­try.

The min­istries of fi­nance and civil af­fairs, along with the Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Sport, re­cently is­sued a no­tice re­quir­ing lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to ex­am­ine mar­ket prac­tices, par­tic­u­larly on­line lot­tery sales by unau­tho­rized op­er­a­tors.

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