China’s lottery sales continued their slow climb out of the basement in May while the courts delivered their last blow to online betting payment processors.

Numbers released on Tuesday by China’s Ministry of Finance show lottery sales amounting to RMB29.2b (US$4.13b) in May, a 17.7% drop from the same month last year, but almost RMB6b increase from April’s figure. Since the start of the year, sales are off 49.2% to RMB90.3b.

May’s sports lottery sales reduced by 1/5 year-on-year to RMB15.2b, but that was RMB3.7b more than April thanks to the gradual return of international sports leagues. Welfare lottery sales, which briefly reclaimed the sales crown in April due to the suspension of sports, dropped 15% year-on-year to RMB14b, an increase from RMB11.9b in April.

China suspended all lottery sales in January as the novel coronavirus pandemic lockdown took effect. Sales started resuming in some provinces in March, with Beijing being the last place to restart operations in May.

However, a fresh outbreak of COVID-19 in Beijing forced lottery operations to once again submit their venues for inspection by local authorities plan on ensuring these premises don’t become hubs for super-spreaders.

China’s renewed attempts to fight‘cross-border’ gambling scored yet another payment processing scalp recently after 8 people were sentenced to lengthy jail terms for enabling RMB4.7b ($666m) in payments on behalf of internationally licensed online casino operators.

Local media reported that a court in the Hangzhou in Zhejiang province had sentenced the payment group’s leader to a stiff term of 12 ½ years in jail and a financial penalty of RMB50m while his companions received jail terms of between 2 and 7 years. The activity in question happened between January and September 2018.

Lastly, Chinese authorities have issued a warning to the country’s social media users that those sexy selfie they post through platforms like Weibo could well end up in the marketing material of international gambling providers and there will be little they can do to remedy this scenario.


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