Mainland China’s total official lottery sales for July declined 27.3 percent year-on-year to approximately RMB27.1 billion (US$4.2 billion), according to official data from the country’s Ministry of Finance.
Welfare lottery sales totalled RMB15.6 billion last month, down by 10.6 percent from the prior-year period, while sports lottery sales fell 42 percent year-on-year to RMB11.5 billion.
The year-on-year fall was attributed to the high base comparison in the same period last year, the Ministry of Finance said. Lottery sales in July 2014 reached RMB37.2 billion, up by 52.7 percent from a year before. That was mostly due to a 92.9-percent increase in sports lottery sales to RMB19.8 billion, according to official data.
Industry commentators indicated last year’s sports lottery sales numbers in particular were boosted by the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament that took place in Brazil between June 12 and July 13, 2014.
Last month, sales were up only in 8 of the 31 provinces and cities of mainland China authorised to sell lottery tickets. Total lottery sales in Beijing and Shanghai declined year-on-year by 33.9 percent and 73.8 percent respectively in July, according to the ministry’s data. In Guangdong province, sales of lottery tickets declined 17.3 percent year-on-year to RMB2.6 billion in July.
Combined lottery sales in the first seven months of this year amounted to RMB214.7 billion, a year-on-year fall of 0.4 percent. Welfare lottery sales increased by 2.1 percent to reach about RMB118.4 billion, while sales of sports lottery products decreased by 3.4 percent to RMB96.3 billion.
Sales of lottery products in mainland China might also have been hurt by a temporary suspension of online sales, a move that has hit several companies, including 500.com Ltd, which is listed in New York. In early April, eight Chinese government agencies confirmed a suspension of what they described as “unauthorised online lottery sales services”. That suspension of online lottery sales continues, according to firms operating in the sector.
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