China’s lottery market generated a sales revenue of 104.18 billion yuan (around 16.5 billion US dollars) in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 9.4 percent year-on-year, according to data released by China’s Ministry of Finance on Monday.
There are two state-run lotteries in China, the China Welfare Lottery and the China Sports Lottery. Earnings from the lotteries are funneled back into social welfare and sporting projects.
Spurred by rising disposable incomes and an appetite for gambling on more sophisticated games, China’s lottery market has boomed, with customers splurging billions of dollars per year.
Welfare lottery sales rose 1.8 percent to 52.25 billion yuan in the first quarter, while sports lottery sales increased by 18.3 percent to 51.93 billion yuan.
Central China's Hunan Province led the growth with a year-on-year increase of 1.42 billion yuan in the first three months.
Lottery sales in March grew 5.9 percent year-on-year to over 40 billion yuan.