China’s Ministry of Finance reported a drop in lottery sales of more than a third in October. Sales were RMB27.55b (US $ 3.9b), which represents a 34.8% crash compared to the same month of 2018. At the same time, the Chinese authorities blocked an illegal online gambling operation of the Genting casino brand.
The October results mark a decrease rate higher than the 13% year-on-year fall for the month of September and drag nine consecutive months of sales decline.
The Chinese government reported that the sale of the lottery was banned for the first time in October on the occasion of the National Day celebration. These financial results also reflect the restrictions imposed by China in January on “high frequency and fast opening” lottery products.
In October, sports lottery sales decreased 36.2% to RMB14.9 billion. Likewise, the social assistance lottery fell 33% to $ 12.7 billion. During 2019, lottery sales in general have fallen 19.3% to RMB343.6 billion.
Attack on pirate sites
Since March 2015, Chinese authorities have not allowed online lottery sales, which has led Chinese gamblers to explore other unauthorized online sites. This Wednesday was reported about the interruption of an illegal gaming operation, suspecting an alleged fraud for identity theft by an illegal operator who “borrowed” the profile of the gaming site of the Malaysian Genting operator.
Fujian police reported the arrest of 18 people who worked for the gaming site where the Genting Online brand was illegally operated. The authorities also frozen around 1,400 bank accounts with deposits exceeding RMB100 million, allegedly from the game.
The Genting operator had an online gaming division called Genting Online, which recently changed to the name of GentingBet. This perhaps prompted fraudulent operators to usurp their identity by considering that many players would not know about the name change.
Fraudulent operators often use used family game brands, especially those that operate casinos in Macau, to trick bettors. The police explained that the Faux-Genting site would first comply with payments to winning bettors, but then encourage them to bet larger sums and immediately close customer accounts and disregard the business.
Beijing has been attacking the illegal game and dismantling mafias of the game that operate illegally in the country. State media on Wednesday reported the dismantling of a vast network of pirated videos. Illegal websites offered videos with “subtitle ads such as gambling sites … to attract Internet users to participate in gambling.”
The unauthorized gambling operators move particularly on sites dedicated to sharing illegal files. Although Asia has not until now been fertile land where respect for copyright is cultivated, some initiatives and measures taken by other nations of the Continent suggest that this reality may be changing.