Mainland China’s total sales of official lottery products reached RMB367.9 billion (US$55.9 billion) in 2015, down by 3.8 percent from the previous year, according to data from the country’s Ministry of Finance.
Welfare lottery sales decreased by 2.2 percent year-on-year to RMB201.5 billion in 2015, while sports lottery sales declined 5.7 percent to RMB166.4 billion.
Monthly sales for the official lotteries in mainland China declined for seven consecutive months as measured in year-on-year terms. Total sales in December were RMB34.1 billion, a decline of 5.6 percent from a year earlier, the Ministry of Finance announced last week.
Welfare lottery sales in December decreased by 1.8 percent year-on-year to RMB19.2 billion, while sports lottery sales declined 10.2 percent to RMB14.9 billion.
Guangdong province reported the highest sales of welfare lottery tickets last year, with aggregate sales of RMB20.5 billion, according to official data. It was still a decline of 0.8 percent compared to aggregate sales in 2014.
Sales of welfare lottery tickets in Beijing and Shanghai declined by 5.6 percent and 11.1 percent respectively.
Jiangsu province sold the most sports lottery tickets in 2015, with sales reaching RMB17 billion, down by 5.1 percent from the prior-year period. Shandong and Guangdong ranked second and third in terms of sales of sports lottery tickets, each province with aggregate sales above RMB15 billion last year.
Industry commentators indicated that sports lottery sales declined in 2015 due to the tough comparison to the previous year. The FIFA World Cup soccer tournament took place in Brazil between June 12 and July 13, 2014, boosting sales of sports lottery tickets during the month-long tournament.
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.
The country’s State Council confirmed in October its commitment to reducing the time required for the approval and administration of lottery sales and payouts, cancelling 62 central authorisation requirements and devolving responsibility to provincial finance departments.
However, online sales of mainland China lottery products are still currently suspended, a move described by the authorities as temporary but which has hit several companies operating in the sector.
China lottery equipment and services supplier China Vanguard Group Ltd on Tuesday said it expected to report a more than 60 percent year-on-year decline in revenue for the six months to December 31, “attributable to a significant decline in revenue contributions from the … lottery-related operations”.
“The group is expected to report a net loss for the period under review,” the Hong Kong-listed firm said in a filing. The company posted a net loss of HKD7.6 million (US$980,561) for the three months ended September 30.
Hong Kong-listed Success Universe Group Ltd – a joint venture partner in casino hotel Ponte 16 in Macau and operator of a sports lottery sales agency network in mainland China – said on Monday it expected to record a loss after tax for the year ended December 31, 2015. The firm said its lottery segment recorded a loss in the first 11 months of 2015, compared to a profit in the prior-year period.
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Ambrose So Shu Fai
Vice-chairman and chief executive at Macau casino operator SJM Holdings