The Asian Games in Hangzhou and new instant win games triggered a lottery revenue surge in China in September.

China’s state lottery saw a 58.3% rise in total lottery ticket sales to CNY52.8bn ($7.2bn/€6.8bn/£5.9bn) in September, according to figures released by the ministry of finance.

The most notable rise was in guess lottery sales – effectively sports betting – which grew by 70.1% year-on-year to CNY21.9bn. The ministry said the increase in major events such as the multi-sport Asian Games, which began during the final week of the month, was behind the surge.

The ministry of finance said the launch of new instant lottery tickets and the expansion of new channels also accounted for growth during the month. Lotto digital lottery sales were up 15.0% to CNY14.9bn, while instant lottery sales grew by 152% to CNY12.5bn. Keno lottery sales were up 36.9% to CNY34.9bn.

In September, the sales volume of Lotto digital, guessing, instant and Keno lottery tickets accounted for 28.2%, 41.5%, 23.7%, and 6.6% of the total lottery sales respectively. Within this, instant’s share grew from 22.7% in the previous month.

Switch to sports in September

The Asian Games also influenced the rise of sports lottery sales compared to welfare lottery. The sales of welfare lottery institutions were up 47.9% to CNY18.213 bn, while sports were up 64.5% to CNY34.6bn.

In September, compared with the same period last year, lottery sales increased in all provinces across the country. Zhejiang, which is the region where Hangzhou is located, saw a CNY1.6bn rise in sales, although Guangdong was up the most by CNY2.0bn.

Cumulatively from January to September, a total of CNY428.5bn of lottery tickets were sold nationwide, an increase of CNY147.3bn or 52.4% year-on-year. Sports betting accounted for 43.2% of sales during that period at CNY184.9bn, which is up 93.6%. Lotto sales are up a more modest 11.9% to CNY129.8bn, which is 30.3% of total revenue.

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