BUSINESS

China’s sports lottery sales spike on Euro 2016 wagers

TAGs: China, dji holdings, sports lottery

china-sports-lottery-euro-2016China’s lottery sales enjoyed a double-digit bump in June thanks mainly to excitement generated by the Euro 2016 football tournament.

Figures released Wednesday by China’s Ministry of Finance show overall lottery sales of just under RMB 34b (US $5.1b) in the month of June, up nearly 21% over the same month last year. Welfare lottery sales were up 1.2% to RMB 16.4b while sports lottery sales jumped 47.2% to RMB 17.6b.

For the six months ending June 30, China’s overall lottery market posted a 3.5% year-on-year rise to RMB 194.2b ($29.3b). As with June’s figures, the gains are entirely driven by the sports lottery, which was up 8.4% to just under RMB 92b, while welfare lottery sales declined 0.5% to RMB 102.3b.

June’s sports lottery jump was smaller than the 83% rise in sales during the first half of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. However, that tournament preceded China’s ‘temporary’ suspension of online lottery sales, which has now lasted 16 months.

The Ministry of Finance has recently begun to hint that it intends to reboot its online lottery market once it develops formal regulations and licensing procedures. In the meantime, lottery operators such as 500.com and DJI Holdings are hanging on by their fingernails, having gone over a year without any online lottery income.

On July 19, the UK-listed DJI raised £11.5m by issuing 12.1m new shares. This was its second share-placing in July and the third in three months, reflecting the company’s frantic efforts to diversify its revenue stream.

The most prominent of these efforts, an exclusive deal to provide mobile payment and information services to the Xinhua News Mobile app, has “started strongly,” according to DJI CEO Darren Mercer, and is “expected to commence revenue generation in August.”

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