Total sales for the country’s Welfare and Sports Lotteries grew 2.0% year-on-year to CNY34.78bn (£4.32bn/€4.75bn/$5.55bn) in August, but this was still below July’s sales of CNY36.15bn.
This growth was driven by Sports Lottery sales, which grew 10.5% to CNY21.53bn, offsetting a 9.3% drop in the Welfare Lottery’s contribution, to CNY13.25bn.
Across both lotteries, digital lotteries were by far the most popular product, with sales rising 16.7% to CNY21.94bn in August.
This represented almost double sports betting sales – the second most popular vertical, despite only being offered via the Sports Lottery – which grew only marginally to CNY10.24bn.
Instant win games, meanwhile, were up 18.2% to CNY2.59bn, thanks to a 22.6% rise in Welfare Lottery instant sales, and a 14.1% rise in the Sports Lottery contribution.
This growth was offset by the Welfare Lottery’s video lottery sales collapsing, with no tickets sold during August.
Keno also saw sales decline across both lotteries, falling 15.6% year-on-year to CNY12.9m.
August’s sales now represent the highest monthly total of a year in which the Chinese lottery market has been significantly disrupted by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which resulted in sales effectively being wiped out in February.
While the market then reported month-on-month improvements, it was not until July that it posted year-on-year increases in sales.
As result revenue for the year to date remains far behind 2019 levels. Total sales for the eight months to 31 August stand at CNY194.83bn, down 30.3% year-on-year.