Business / Industries

Chinese lotteries to score during World Cup

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-06-05 16:05

BEIJING - The Chinese lottery sector is set for a dramatic sales surge around the upcoming FIFA World Cup.

Sports lotteries of the guessing type usually see a huge sales increase in World Cup years. During the 2010 event, sales of such lottery types in China hit four billion yuan ($648 million), up 500 percent year on year and 400 percent on month, according to Huatai Securities.

As more than 600 million Chinese now have access to the Internet, lottery businesses are also expecting big profits from online sales.

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"We estimate that the World Cup will boost our sales of Internet-based sports lotteries by at least 70 percent," said an executive of, the New York-listed Chinese firm that was the first to provide online lottery services in China.

The forecast is conservative compared to others. Huatai Securities predicted that online sales of sports lotteries of the guessing type will surge by 150 percent in 2014. In 2010, sales of such lottery tickets increased by 102 percent, said the securities firm.

According to official data, China's total lottery sales, including welfare and sports lotteries, rose 18.3 percent year on year to nearly 310 billion yuan in 2013. Online lottery sales hit 42 billion yuan, accounting for 13.58 percent of the total.

The surge of online lottery business is attracting growing investor interest in equity acquisitions of Internet-based lottery firms or cooperation with them.

To gain a slice of the cake, companies in the sector are seeking niches, including physical stores, online service and mobile Internet service, noted a report by the Shanghai Securities News on Wednesday.

But for strong competitors such as, it is acting even faster in both marketing and cooperation with a range of companies, including Yaoji Poker, China Mobile, and Geeya, a digital TV service provider.

The firm is offering a total jackpot of 100 million yuan for participants who can successfully predict the results of 63 World Cup matches.

Despite the rosy prospects, access to Internet-based lottery business is still strictly regulated by the government, with only two companies eligible to sell lotteries online.

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