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As Lottery Sales Surge China Considers Online Ticket Sales

Lottery sales in China are on the up which could lead to a reintroduction of online gaming options across the country according to recent reports.

Following a steady decline in lottery revenue since the Chinese government imposed a temporary ban on online lottery ticket sales in March 2015, April 2016's results showed renewed interest in the industry. Despite sites like 500.com failing to make any money for more than a year, live lottery ticket sales in China were up by 7% (to $5.3 billion) when comparing April 2016 to April 2015.

Complementing this increased interest in China's national lottery, the country's Welfare lottery saw a 1% jump in sales in April while sports lottery outlets enjoyed 16.6% growth. Howevr, despite a leap in gaming activity in April, year-to-date lottery ticket sales in China are still down by 1.4% to $19.1 billon.

Will Chinese Lotteries Go Online?

Fortunately, with interest in lottery gaming still evidently strong and new regulation looming, it looks as though online sales could soon recommence across China. According to a report by the Economic Observer published back in April, government ministers are currently drawing up laws that would govern the online lottery industry and ensure that no unauthorised outlets would be allowed to sell tickets.

With online lottery sales around the world currently hitting new highs, it seems unlikely China will want to miss out on this growing industry for much longer. Indeed, according to estimates from industry analysts, the online lottery industry is worth around $275 million annually and by 2020 activity will increase by 8.5%.

Helping to fuel this renewed interest in lottery gaming is a new breed of gaming platforms. Lottoland is among a growing number of lottery hubs that not only provide instant access to lotteries of all shapes and sizes, but a myriad of gaming options that make the playing process more efficient than ever.

Instead of manually selecting numbers of individual draws of lotteries such as the EuroMillions or Powerball, players can use the Lottoland software to set-up recurring payments, learn more about each lottery and even automatically purchase tickets based on jackpot thresholds. In a nutshell, online lottery sites have made the process of playing exponentially easier and, therefore, more lucrative.

Internet the Key to Unlocking Lottery Potential

Much like it did for casino gaming, sports betting and poker, the Internet is now reshaping the lottery industry for the modern player. This means more options, more value and more entertainment. With this sector of the iGaming industry starting to boom in Europe and North America, China would be missing the boat if it we to continue its temporary ban on online sales for much longer.

While the regulation of online gaming in any form has traditionally been a taxing proposition in China, the latest reports would suggest that it's something government ministers are keen to overcome in this case. With lottery revenue peaking in April but sales still down overall, it's clear that Chinese gamblers are still hungry for these games and the Internet could be the key that unlocks record revenues.

Of course, the route to regulation is likely to take many months and the Economic Observer's source declined to give a timeline for the new laws, but there's a strong possibility that things could change by the close of 2016.