London-listed DJI Holdings Plc, a supplier of services to mainland China’s lottery market, said in a filing on Friday it welcomed an announcement two days earlier from China’s State Council that could streamline the approval and administration of China lottery sales and player payouts.
DJI acknowledged however that a suspension of sales of online lottery products – announced initially by the Chinese authorities in March, and then on a multi-agency basis in April, and described at the time as “temporary” – remains in place.
“The company welcomes the State Council’s public announcement of October 14 outlining its commitment to reducing the time required for the approval and administration of lottery sales and payouts by cancelling 62 central authorisation requirements and devolving responsibility to provincial finance departments,” stated DJI.
The firm added: “Although the temporary suspension of online lottery sales that followed March’s government notice has not yet been lifted, DJI regards the latest public announcement as an important step in the process towards better regulation and the elimination of a large number of unauthorised operators undermining the integrity of the market.”
In early April, eight Chinese government agencies confirmed a suspension of what they described as “unauthorised online lottery sales services”.
Commenting on the latest lottery-related announcement from the State Council, DJI’s chief executive Darren Mercer said: “It is clear that the Internet is recognised as an important channel for the lottery.”
He added: “Though we are optimistic that this is a sign that tangible steps are being taken towards the resumption of [online] trading, we continue to develop new channels as evidenced by our recently approved trial of sports lottery sales via mobile phones in Qingdao city, Shandong Province and our previously announced JV [joint venture] with Heilongjiang Sports Authority, which included applications for new games.”
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