China’s welfare lottery sales exceeded RMB201.5 billion (US$30.7 billion) in 2015, but were down 2 percent from the previous year, reported the country’s official news agency Xinhua, quoting official data.
Guangdong province reported the highest sales of welfare lottery tickets last year, with aggregate sales surpassing RMB20 billion, according to a statement released on Friday by the country’s Welfare Lottery Distribution and Management Centre.
The statement, quoted by Xinhua, additionally said that more than half of China’s provincial-level regions saw an increase in annual sales of welfare lottery tickets in 2015.
Welfare funds obtained via lottery ticket sales amounted to RMB56.4 billion last year, down from the RMB57 billion in 2014, reported the media outlet.
Data from the Ministry of Finance show that combined sales of mainland China’s two authorised lottery systems – the welfare lottery and the sports lottery – in the first 11 months of last year amounted to RMB333.8 billion, a year-on-year decrease of 3.6 percent.
Monthly sales for mainland China’s lotteries have declined for six consecutive months since June as measured in year-on-year terms.
Chinese authorities last year ordered a widespread clean-up campaign of the state-sanctioned lotteries following a report that identified “widespread misappropriation” of funds from the country’s lottery programme.
China’s National Audit Office said in a report made public on June 25 that as much as RMB16.9-billion in lottery funds – a quarter of the takings audited – were unaccounted for, out of RMB65.8 billion received from the public across 18 provinces, in periods covering 2012 to 2014.
Central government oversight of the lottery industry in mainland China has led to the temporary suspension of online sales of lottery tickets.
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