Online soccer lotteries banned in China amid a World Cup craze

By Xie Jun Source:Global Times Published: 2018/6/20 22:28:40

Online soccer lotteries find odds turning

Online lottery platforms, which have gotten a boost from the ongoing World Cup, are phasing out their soccer lotteries following media reports quoting the China Welfare Lottery Center's warning that online sports lotteries are illegal.

Tiantianzhongcaipiao, a domestic sports lottery app, said on Wednesday it will "update" some of its lotteries including those for soccer and basketball.

Another sports lottery app known as renrenzhongcaipiao has also halted selling soccer lotteries.

The moves come amid a craze for World Cup-related lotteries that took China by storm. Many soccer fans have shared their lottery results on social network platforms like WeChat in recent days.

A Nanjing-based soccer fan, for example, won more than 5000 yuan ($772.5) on Tuesday by betting on Japan over Colombia. He bought his ticket on Weibo and an app called tiantianzhongcaipiao, he told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Damien Cheng, who works as account manager for a British soccer club, used an online app called zhangyucaipiao to buy soccer lottery tickets, but he's so far lost about half of his principal, he told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Li Hai, director of the Sport Lottery Research Center, confirmed to the Global Times on Wednesday that the government has not allowed soccer lottery sales on any online platforms like apps or websites.

A post on the website of the Ministry of Finance (MOF) in April 2015 also stressed that as of that date, the MOF had not approved any lottery institutions to offer tickets online.

A report from the Beijing-based Morning Post on Tuesday also cited an employee of the China Welfare Lottery Center as saying that the center had never authorized any websites or institutions to sell lotteries online, and selling such tickets via apps is also illegal.

Li said he'd seen many online platforms phasing out soccer lottery sales after the practice drew media attention.

However, the Global Times also saw some online comments saying that sales of lotteries on the internet should not be banned as "everything now can be bought online."

Newspaper headline: Online soccer lotteries find odds turning


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