China: A huge sports betting market

According to the Economist, if any company wants to gamble on the development of the legal betting industry in China, it will be a risky one. State lotteries are forced to compete with new products like virtual racing and football betting.

Chinese law is currently flexible and lacking clarity about the prosecution of the aforementioned games. A few years ago, police said they would punish gamblers who ate over 500 yuan (US $ 70). The government seems to be playing “cat chasing mice” with players and app developers.

Yaoji Poker, the world’s largest card maker, says cards are very expensive in the countryside. But the company has still acquired a start-up to make online games, and is promoting online card games that haven’t been touched by the police.

Scientists estimate the total amount of money spent on unofficial gambling must be 5 times that of state lottery. The International Center for Integrity Sports (Qatar-based) estimated in 2016 that illegal sports betting in China attracts as much as $ 600 billion a year – making up the majority of the total global market price. $ 750-1,000 billion worth.

Technology giants also want to try their luck. agTech, which operates 4/5 lottery ticket machines in China, was acquired by Alibaba in 2016. The company recently received a contract to develop virtual reality products. Tencent buys a stake in China Lotsynergy, which builds video display devices for the state lottery. These have become the # 1 expensive lottery among state lottery products. On a recent Friday afternoon, the Shanghai lottery area was filled with people, mostly elderly people, according to the Economist.

Even so, the ambitions of private companies seem to go against state goals. John Sun, agTech director, recently complained that the state lottery could double ticket sales by reopening the online channel. Regulators recently announced that they would reduce the frequency of players being able to play “quick lotteries”, from 10 minutes each time to 20 minutes, to reduce the risk of money laundering