A government minister in mainland China has called on those administering the country’s state-sanctioned lotteries to “correct every wrongdoing” uncovered by a recent audit report, said Xinhua, an official Chinese news agency.
“Any misuse and waste of welfare lottery funds has not lived up to the trust of lottery buyers or society, and has damaged the image of the Party and the government,” said Li Liguo, civil affairs minister, referring latterly to the ruling Communist Party of China.
China’s National Audit Office said in a report made public on June 25 that as much as RMB16.9 billion (US$2.72 billion) in lottery funds – a quarter of the takings audited – was unaccounted for out of RMB65.8 billion received from the public across 18 provinces in periods covering 2012 to 2014.
No single body is responsible for administering all the activities of China’s two authorised lottery systems – the welfare lottery and its younger sibling the sports lottery. China’s lotteries are managed by the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Civil Affairs, and the General Administration of Sport. The Ministry of Civil Affairs is mainly in charge of the welfare lottery, reported Xinhua.
Mr Li urged those lotteries under the Ministry of Civil Affairs to “introspect and correct every wrongdoing uncovered by the audit.”
The ministry also announced a five-month campaign to make the nation’s biggest lottery game more transparent following the embezzlement scandal, said Xinhua.
The campaign is said to want to focus on regulating sales of welfare lottery tickets, including checking loopholes in management of funds generated by the lottery and improving supervision over the drawing of lotto numbers, reported the news agency.
Probes into the lottery industry in mainland China have led to the temporary suspension of online sales of lottery tickets.
On April 3, eight Chinese central government agencies issued a joint public announcement ordering the suspension of online sales of lottery tickets. They also demanded provincial governmental authorities “investigate and sanction unauthorised online lottery sales in their respective jurisdictions”.
There is still no official word on when the temporary suspension of online lottery sales will be lifted.
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President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China