Shanghai to test digital yuan for lottery prizes

Lottery prizes will be issued in digital yuan.
Lottery prizes will be issued in digital yuan.

Lottery winners will receive 350,000 digital red envelopes containing 55 units of the Chinese central bank’s digital currency (CBDC) equivalent to $3m.

China.- Authorities in China continue to test the use of virtual currency. Now the city of Shanghai has announced it will launch a prize of 19.25m digital yuan ($3m) in lottery winnings.

Such an initiative has already been tested by other cities such as Beijing, Shenzhen, Chengdu and Suzhou following the Chinese government’s push to implement its Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) system.

The Shanghai lottery will be open between June 5 and June 6. Winners will be able to spend the digital yuan at stores that already accept the virtual currency.

In April, Chinese authorities chose Macau as a testing ground for the digital currency along with Hong Kong.

The people’s Bank of China (PBoC) announced it was working on the technical testing for using virtual currency for cross-border payments between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.

According to the Macau Gaming Research Association, the implementation of a virtual currency could mark a watershed moment for the gaming industry as customers could buy chips instantly using RMB without the need to convert to HKD.

Analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein said: “The cleaning up of Macau’s money flows, easier access to RMB transactions in the city, and disintermediation of junkets would be a positive driver for continued growth in stable mass and premium mass in Macau.”

In April, Lottery sales in China reached CNY29.10bn which represents a rise of 24.4 per cent when compared to the previous year but a decline of 2.3 per cent month-on-month.

Welfare Lottery sales were down 6.2 per cent at CNY11.16bn. Sports Lottery sales were up 56.3 per cent to CNY17.93bn.

Sales of instant win games from the Welfare Lottery saw an increase of 111.0 per cent to CNY2.40bn. They generated CNY2.43bn for the Sports Lottery, up 103.1 per cent year-on-year.

Keno sales brought in 14.2 per cent of the Welfare Lottery total revenue.

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