On Wednesday, China’s Ministry of Finance reported that August’s lottery sales totalled just under RMB34.8b (US$5.1b), a 2% rise from the same month last year but 3.7% below the sum earned in July 2020, which marked the first year-on-year increase in 18 months.
August’s gains were entirely due to the sports lottery, which rose 2% to RMB21.5b, while the welfare lottery product slipped 9.3% to RMB13.25b. For the year-to-date, overall sales are off 30.3% to RMB194.8b.
September’s sales may extend the two-month winning streak but the government will shut down all lottery sales – with an exception made for instant lottery products – for a four-day period starting October 1 for the annual National Day holiday. So don’t count on this streak extending to four months.
China’s lotteries remain an offline-only product following the 2015 ‘temporary’ suspension of online sales. The government is really missing the boat here, as the ongoing crackdown on unauthorized gambling payment processing has reportedly convinced a number of major gambling sites that serving the Chinese market is no longer worth the cost of doing business.