HONG KONG ONLINE LOTTERY FIRM BUYS SOCIAL POKER ENTERPRISE
 
500.com appears to be on the diversity trail as lottery income dries up following Chinas suspension of online lottery sales.
 
Hit hard by the Chinese governments now 18-month-old anti-corruption suspension of online lottery sales, the Hong Kong-based online lottery firm 500.com appears to be diversifying to survive.
 
Media reports from the region Friday indicate that the company has made an acquisition move on a social poker platform enterprise, acquiring a 51 percent stake in Qufan Internet Technology Inc. and Shenzhen Qufan Internet Technology Co. Ltd for a consideration of RMB 110.5 million – about US$16.2 million.
 
Some observers have speculated that 500.com management may be attempting a reprise of last Mays sale of online payment processor Sumpay for a quick profit after owning the company for just 5 months, but there is at present no indication that this might be the companies intention.
 
The loss of online lottery revenues since the Chinese online sales ban was imposed is a compelling reason to hold on to companies that are at least generating some revenue.