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China lottery sales fall 4.6% in November

| By Robin Harrison
The China Ministry of Finance reported a 4.6% year-on-year decline in sales for the country’s Sports and Welfare Lotteries in November, largely down to video lottery sales being almost wiped out in the month.
China lottery sales October

Sales for November fell from CNY37.77bn to CNY36.04bn (£4.08bn/€4.54bn/$5.58bn), comprising CNY21.02bn from the China Sports Lottery – down 0.2% – and CNY15.02bn from the Welfare Lottery, a 10.1% year-on-year drop. 

For the Sports Lottery, digital sales were up 10.3% to CNY9.8bn, making them the most popular product for players after sales for sports betting games declined 11.4% to CNY9.6bn. 

Instant win games, meanwhile, saw sales grow 21.3% to CNY1.6bn, though video lottery sales plummeted 80.0% to CNY1,600. 

The Welfare Lottery saw video lottery sales wiped out completely in November, dragging down its total sales for the month despite a rises in its core digital sales channel to CNY13.10bn. 

Instants, meanwhile, generated sales of CNY1.57bn, up 1.2%, and the biggest growth was reported for keno, for which customers spent CNY3.4m, up from CNY154,400 in the prior year. 

There were 14 provinces that reported year-on-year growth in sales for November, with the biggest advances reported in Guangdong, Xinjiang and Guizhou.

November’s figures mean that for the year to date, lottery sales stand at CNY297.44bn, down 22.0% from 2019. 

The Welfare Lottery accounted for CNY129.22bn of this total, down 25.1%, with Sports Lottery agencies reporting sales of CNY168.22bn, down 19.4%. 

The country’s lottery market is to face major changes after the Chinese government announced in October 2020 that lotteries would be required to stop selling high-frequency, or quick-draw games.

Provincial lotteries have been limited to one high-frequency game from 1 November last year, with that final game to be withdrawn from February’s New Year holiday. 

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