All lottery sales were down in comparison to 2019 except for Keno sales, which increased despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
China.- Lottery sales in China lost ground during the Covid-19 pandemic, falling by 20.8 per cent year-on-year to CNY333.95bn (US$51.52bn) last year.
Video lottery sales were most affected by the pandemic and the closure of betting outlets at the beginning of the year. Sales plummeted by 84.8 per cent year-on-year to just CNY679.3m (US$104.8m) in 2020.
Welfare Lottery sales were down 24.5 per cent at CNY144.48bn (US$22.3bn). Sports Lottery sales fell 17.9 per cent to CNY189.64bn (US$29.26bn).
Sales of instant win games also fell, down 2.1 per cent at CNY14.64bn (US$2.25bn).
Only Keno sales increased year-on-year, reaching CNY910.9m (US$140.5m) 2020.
December as the strongest month for lottery sales in China but still saw sales down by 11.8 per cent year-on-year at CNY36.51bn (US$5.63bn).
New limits on sports lotteries
As of 1 November 2020, every Chinese province, autonomous region or municipality can operate only one quick-draw for virtual sports lotteries.
A 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 the 2021 annual Spring Festival holiday, all high-frequency quick-open games will be stopped.
In this context, some of the main operators in the sector are already looking into other businesses. 500.com is investing heavily in cryptocurrency machines.