Lottery sales in mainland China reached RMB31.5 billion (US$5.1 billion) in August, up 28.1 percent year-on-year, according to data from the country’s Ministry of Finance this week.
In August, sales of welfare lottery tickets increased by 21.4 percent year-on-year to RMB17 billion. Chinese also bet RMB14.5 billion on the sports lottery last month, up 37 percent from a year earlier.
The figures however show a contraction from July’s results. Total lottery sales in August fell 15.3 percent from the previous month, mainly due to a 26.6-percent drop in sales of sports lottery products.
China’s sports lottery sales spiked in June and July thanks to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The month-long tournament kicked-off on June 12.
Mainland China’s lottery sales reached RMB247.2 billion in the first eight months of 2014, up 24.4 percent year-on-year, the data showed.
A rush by Chinese to gamble on World Cup results pushed up sports lottery sales this year. Sports lottery sales surged 34 percent year-on-year in the first eight months of 2014 to RMB114.2 billion.
Outside of sporting bets, sales of welfare lottery tickets also rose 17.2 percent year-on-year to RMB132.9 billion in the January-August period.
Seemingly spurred by rising disposable income and a strong appetite for gambling, China’s lottery market has boomed with customers splashing some RMB309.33 billion in 2013.
Among Chinese provinces and cities, people in Beijing were not as eager as they were a year ago to buy lottery tickets in August, with sales going down by about 13 percent. Sales in other places remained strong last month, all rising no less than 5 percent, according to official data.
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"If the [Macau casino] concessions are put up for bid, there will also be a lot of giant Chinese companies, some having nothing to do with gaming, which would like to take over these enormously successful casinos”
Professor emeritus at Whittier Law School in California, in the United States, and a visiting professor at University of Macau