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China lottery sales wane in wake of internet sales suspensions

Chinese lottery officials have released sales statistics for March in the booming market, reporting a 6.3 percent decline – the first in two years – as a consequence of the central government's recent restriction of online ticket sales (see previous report).

Sales of RMB30.81 billion ($4.9 billion) were recorded in March, the first year-on-year drop in more than two years, although overall first quarter sales for 2015 are up 18.5 percent at RMB 94.8 billion.

Welfare sales in March were down 5 percent to RMB 17.82 billion, delivering 57.8 percent of total sales. Lotto games made up the lion’s share of total revenue at 68.7 percent.

Sports lottery sales for March were down 8 percent to RMB 12.99 billion.

Chinese lottery sales last year totalled RMB 382.4 billion ($61 billion), but the proportion of that achieved online is not certain.

Online ticket sellers have been subjected to suspension of sales orders by local authorities following orders from the central government, which was concerned about allegedly questionable conduct by some online vendors.

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