World Cup boom for Chinese sports lottery

By Brad Allen
The state-run China Sports Lottery reported ¥150m (£14m) sales on the opening day of the Brazil World Cup.

The ¥150m windfall is an approximate 700% increase from the opening day of the 2010 World Cup.

The rise reflects the expansion of betting options in the sports lottery, as well as an increase in the popularity of online gambling.

The Chinese lottery business traditionally receives a 25% -30% boost in World Cup years – online sales for 2014 are already up 63%.

The expansion of lottery options also reflects a growing appreciation of football in China.

Although gambling is officially illegal in China, the ruling Communist Party established the Sports Lotteries in 2009, using the proceeds to promote public fitness and support Chinese Olympic athletes.

The football prediction lottery in 2014 is subdivided into four categories including the predicting of overall scores in a round of matches, predicting the score in a single game, predicting points conceded and a mixture of the above.

However the lottery figures are still a drop in the ocean compared to the massive gambling black market.

The China Centre for Lottery Studies at Peking University estimated the illegal sports-betting market at £54 bn – 15 times that of the legal lottery market.

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