Sunday, April 17, 2016 : CHINESE ONLINE LOTTERY SECTOR SET TO RESUME?
After a year of suspension government officials are considering a resumption under new regulations.
According to a weekend report in the Economic Observer quoting informed sources, the Chinese government is considering the introduction of new regulations and an initially trial period ending the year-long suspension of Chinese online lottery sales.
The report claims that officials plan to launch new pilot programs this year to restart online lottery sales, and held a seminar in January to discuss regulations.
The unnamed source said authorities have a supportive attitude toward lifting the suspension.
InfoPowa readers will recall that the suspension was imposed in April last year by eight central government agencies, citing risks to consumers.
Pointing to operator "rampant irregularities" the Ministry of Finance alleged at the time that lottery sales organisations had entrusted internet companies with sales services without official authorisation.
The suspension also impacted major companies approved by government in an earlier pilot program, such as Sina.com, Taobao.com, 163.com, 500.com and China Sports Lottery Operation Co.
The new regulations will require online lottery sales organisations to first secure approval in a vetting and probity process.
Companies will not necessarily have to get approvals from government authorities, the source said, but they must pass qualification checks from lottery issuers – the National Welfare Lottery Center and the National Sports Lottery Center.
China's lottery industry suffered its first decline in 12 years in 2015 following the online sales suspension.
The Economic Observer claims that a lack of practical and relevant regulations resulted in administrative, oversight and enforcement difficulties in the past, exacerbated by software deficiencies.
There were accusations of widespread corruption and money laundering, prompting the central government to act.
There are two kinds of lotteries in China, China Welfare Lottery and China Sports Lottery.
China's Ministry of Civil Affairs is in charge of the Welfare Lottery and the Sport Lottery is authorised by China's Sport Administration.
A report on China's online lottery market issued in 2014 shows that more than 100 million people in China bought lottery tickets through online platforms in 2014 and the internet became an essential purchase channel in the country.
Pre-suspension, the country's online lottery sales soared, with online lottery sales reaching 85 billion yuan ($13.1 billion) in 2014, a 102-percent increase from 2013. The figure was only 3.8 billion yuan in 2009.