China sports lottery sales jump; Thai gov’t lottery ‘not worth playing’

thailand-lottery-not-worth-playingChina’s lottery sales got a serious boost from the final stages of the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament.

Figures released Wednesday by China’s Ministry of Finance show overall sales in July rising 19.8% to RMB 32.4b (US $4.8b). Welfare lottery sales gained 6.7% to RMB 16.6b while sports lottery sales surged 37.6% to RMB 15.8b.

July’s sports lottery leap is smaller than the 47.2% rise the product enjoyed in June, which contained the bulk of the Euro 2016 action. For the year to date, overall sales are up 5.6% to RMB 226.7b, driven primarily by sports lottery interest.

Meanwhile, Thailand‘s lottery players say their state lottery isn’t worth playing, according to a new survey that should give Government Lottery Office (GLO) officials nightmares.

The Phuket News recently conducted a poll of its readers, asking them a pointed question: Is the Thai lottery worth playing? The results showed 40% holding the view that the odds against winning a prize were too great, while another 22% thought the ‘jackpots’ were too puny to make it worth buying a ticket.

A mere 16% agreed that lottery tickets were cheap enough and the prizes large enough to warrant playing. An optimistic 22% said that anybody who believed in their luck should play, since “luck is all it takes to win any lottery.” (Seriously, just ask a local monk.)

The poll results aren’t really a surprise, given that Thai gamblers have routinely cited the nation’s ‘underground’ lotteries as their preferred way to risk a little to gain a lot. Well, that and the host of Thai-facing international online gambling sites out there.

Still, the GLO folks may be forced to rejig their plans to roll out an online version of their lottery product (actually, automated ticket kiosks, but, you know, ‘online’), either by offering larger prizes or better odds of winning, or else their terminals could collect more dust than dollars.