Monday February 18,2013 : ONLINE WAGERING BLAMED FOR TAIWAN LOTTERY LOSSES
Taipei Fubon Bank reports NT$8.3 billion losses over past five years
Taiwan punters using foreign websites to gamble were blamed by the Taipei Fubon Bank this week for lottery losses of NT$8.3 billion (US$279.7 million) accumulated over the past five years.
The publication Focus Taiwan reports that the losses were incurred by the bank in its issues of domestic sports lottery tickets, which were heavily impacted by customers' spending at foreign lottery websites, according to local lottery retailers.
The retailers specifically identified the Philippines-based Jiu Zhou Technologies International, Inc., which runs the online gambling website TS777.net, with the root cause Taiwanese punters eager to find an alternative to the heavily regulated Taiwan Sports Lottery.
The better odds offered at foreign casino sites drew customers away from the more conservative local sports lottery, retailers acknowledged.
The China Times newspaper noted that TS777.net, also known as Jiu-zhou Casino, is legally registered in the Philippines' Cagayan Special Economic Zone, and offers 24/7 online wagering services, primarily targeted on Taiwan and China.
The site's recent marketing campaign included providing new members with free tablet computers, the report claimed.
Reacting to the losses, Shih Chun-yao, secretary-general of R.O.C. Lottery National Federation of Trade Unions, criticised Taipei Fubon Bank's marketing efforts and opined that the Taiwanese government' s heavy-handed regulating of the country's sports lottery industry restricted growth.
The largest disadvantage suffered by the Taiwan Sports Lottery is that gamblers often cannot bet on single games, but must wager on two games, and that they will only win if they purchase two straight-winning games, he said.
Foreign gambling websites do not have the same limitations, and offer better odds, he added.
Li Kuo-chung, deputy commander for technology at the Criminal Investigation Division of the police agreed, saying that foreign online casino websites have three advantages over the domestic sports lottery: high privacy, better odds, and convenience in placing bets.