China Enforces Ban on Online Lotteries

Published March 4, 2015 by Amir G

China Enforces Ban on Online Lotteries

The major part of online lottery ticket sales have been suspended in mainland China after wide authorities clamp down.

China's General Administration of Sport (GAS) has put into force its clamp down on online lottery ticket agents catering to residents from mainland China, after last week's issue of a directive to shut down on all online lottery operators which it deems unlicensed. GAS has not spared words in its message to the authorities, showing its fervor in the fight against online lottery as it called to "crash the illegal business in cooperation with the police and other administrative departments".

Among the major online ticket sellers which were forced to suspend their sales are Alibaba's Taobao, Netease and Tencent; overall some 40 websites suspended online lottery ticket sales. The only two legal lotteries in China as of right now are the welfare and sports lottery.

Going Against the Numbers

As one would expect in a country of its magnitude, lottery is very popular in China. Lottery sales in total for 2014 in China are estimated at around $61.5 billion, a number which shows an increase of 23.6% from the 2013 sales. Online lottery ticket sales compose a notable chunk of these figures, as Beijing-based research firm Caitong Consulting reported that online lottery ticket sales in China amounted to 85 billion yuan last year ($13.6 billion).

Uphill Battle

Online lottery tickets have become default for many all over the world. Online lottery agents such as The Lotter and Lottery Master have erased borders, letting Europeans take part in the biggest American lotteries across the ocean, as well as other people from all around the globe who can take part in the biggest European lotteries.

It seems that China is fighting an uphill battle. The fight against online lottery in China is weird in light of the country's attempts to draw closer to the west. Given China's prior unsuccessful attempts to quell online lottery, it's hard to see this effort setting fruit – it's impossible to suppress progress.

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