The Chinese authorities have reiterated the ongoing ban regarding online ticket sales for the country’s official lottery systems, via an announcement published on Tuesday but which carried the date August 8.
The statement put out by China’s Ministry of Finance was endorsed by 11 other government departments. The document noted that the finance ministry had not so far given approval for any lottery sales outlets to conduct sales online.
The mainland authorities had in 2015 ordered a suspension of online sales of tickets for China’s two official lotteries – the welfare lottery and the sports lottery. Reasons given were the need to streamline government oversight and to curb fraud by unlicensed sellers. The central government said at the time the ban was temporary but would be in place until further notice.
“In recent years, the related government departments have, in joint operation, rectified several times unauthorised online lottery sales. That has made apparent improvements in the lottery sales market,” the Chinese authorities’ announcement stated, via a posting on the Ministry of Finance website.
“But unauthorised online lottery sales via Internet platforms…still happen at times, which seriously impacts the healthy development of lottery business in the country,” the authorities wrote. The Chinese government departments responsible for the oversight of banking, information technology, and public security respectively were amongst the departments that endorsed the statement.
The announcement also noted available sanctions against anyone found engaging in online sales of lottery tickets, including a shutdown of the offending website or a blacklisting of it within China.
The Chinese authorities’ statement on lottery online sales was published as it emerged in mainland media reports that U.S. computer firm Apple Inc had removed as many as 25,000 lottery and gambling apps from its App Store in China. The reported removal of the apps occurred shortly after China’s state broadcaster CCTV had on Sunday criticised Apple regarding its app content policy for the mainland market.
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