China may see online lottery sales again this year

China may see online lottery sales again this year

Monday, June 20, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
China's sports lottery business is enjoying a boom thanks to this summer’s major sporting events

China may be warming to allow online lottery betting once again with the country’s sports lottery business enjoying a huge boom thanks to this summer’s major sporting events.

Online lottery sales were banned in February 2015, despite internet sales reportedly representing 22% of all lottery sales at the time. The ban clearly suppressed the market’s development however and analysts believe that they have noticed signals from Chinese authorities to indicate they may restart online lottery sales this year.

Yan Peng, an analyst from Citic Securities, reported that the market was ripe for the authorities to reopen online sales: “Considering that China’s lottery market is highly-regulated, we think such a supportive stance could be interpreted as a gradual opening-up on the supply side.

“With the growing enthusiasm for China Super League (CSL) matches between famous football clubs like Guangzhou Evergrande and Shanghai SIPG and the frequent policies in support of China’s sports undertakings, sports lottery – especially match-betting lottery – will undoubtedly become an important monetisation channel for China’s sports industry and a major contributor to lottery sales.”

China’s General Administration of Sport is one of the bodies tasked with overseeing sports lotteries and last month highlighted the aim to accelerate innovation in the sports lottery segment in its latest Five-year Plan.

The General Administration of Sport has also followed this up with guidelines about how to investigate and ‘punish’ unauthorised online lottery sales.

However Peng believes that this could be viewed as a positive: “This means authorised online lottery sales approved in due procedures will be supported and protected by law. Policymakers made it clear in the circular that lottery sales through the internet must be centrally managed and monitored on a real-time basis by the issuing entities.”

In the Citic report, Peng suggested that lottery platforms such as Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, as well as US-listed lottery firm, would be leading the way in obtaining an online sales licence.

TotallyGaming Says: “Given that match betting lottery sales this year have already reportedly increased by 71 per cent in March and a further 49 per cent in April year on year, the European Football Championships, Copa America and the 2016 Rio Olympics will doubtlessly give the sports lottery another boost. However the re-introduction of online sales would provide the industry with more sustainable growth.”

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