Mainland China’s lottery sales grew to approximately RMB187.68 billion (US$30.7 billion) in the first half of 2015, up 5.2 percent year-on-year, reported Xinhua, an official Chinese news agency, quoting government figures.
Welfare lottery sales increased by 4.4 percent to reach about RMB102.84 billion, while sales of sports lottery products rose by 6.2 percent to RMB84.83 billion, the Ministry of Finance announced.
For the first half of 2014, China lottery sales increased by nearly 20 percent, the ministry had reported in July last year. 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.
June 2015 saw sales of lottery tickets reach RMB28.12 billion, said Xinhua, adding this was actually a year-on-year decline of 22 percent, due to last year’s World Cup-fuelled high base.
East China’s Shandong province led the rise in the first half of 2015, with its lottery sales up by 1.88 billion yuan from a year ago, while Zhejiang, Hebei and Henan provinces as well as Inner Mongolia autonomous region, also posted large increases, according to the ministry.
Under lottery management rules, money from ticket sales must cover administrative fees and public welfare projects as well as the jackpot.
In June, Reuters news agency, citing a study by China’s state auditor, said that the mainland authorities had found “widespread misappropriation” of RMB16.9 billion of funds from the state lottery programme in some provinces following an audit covering operations between 2012 and 2014.
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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"If the [Macau casino] concessions are put up for bid, there will also be a lot of giant Chinese companies, some having nothing to do with gaming, which would like to take over these enormously successful casinos”
Professor emeritus at Whittier Law School in California, in the United States, and a visiting professor at University of Macau