Limits on sports lotteries begin taking effect in China

Limits on sports lotteries begin taking effect in China

The ban on operating multiple virtual sports lottery games has led to two AGTech games to be withdrawn.

China.- As of November 1, every Chinese province, autonomous region or municipality will be allowed to operate only one quick-draw for virtual sports-related lotteries.  

A recent joint notice from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the General Administration of Sport announced the restrictions on sales of quick-draw welfare lottery games and high frequency sports lottery games.  

After next year’s annual Spring Festival holiday, all high-frequency quick-open games will be stopped.

The changes are already taking effect as AGTech Holdings Limited has announced it two of its virtual sports lottery games have been withdrawn.

One of them is the football-themed virtual e-Ball Lottery, which will no longer be sold in Jiangsu Province. The motor racing-themed game Lucky Racing will be withdrawn in Hunan Province.  

The firm said it had “received a written implementation letter dated 23 October 2020 from Jiangsu Sports Lottery Administration Centre (the “Jiangsu SLAC”) in relation to, among other matters, the cessation of the sales of e-Ball Lottery with effect from 1 November 2020.” 

The group is currently evaluating the financial impact of the decisions and has said it will take “appropriate actions” to safeguard its interests.  

AGTech has decided to no longer generate any revenue from virtual sports lottery games starting November 1 as it assumes that long-term sales of such games will cease.  

Its virtual sports lottery games unit generated HKD43.3 million (US$5.58 million) in 2019 and HKD34 million (US$4.38 million) in 2018, over a fifth of the company’s total revenue for those years.

For the nine-month period ending September 30 2020, the revenue attributed to the unit represented approximately 38.2 per cent of the group’s total revenue as the lotteries business continues to recover in China.  

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