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Legislator Calls for Specific Law Governing Lottery Business

Peng Zhenqiu, a Shanghai lawmaker attending the ongoing current session of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, proposed an early enaction of a law governing the fledgling lottery trade, so as to ensure that it can help stimulate China's economic development.

Peng, vice president of the Socialism Academy of Shanghai Municipality, called for setting up a "lottery monopoly administration", launching a market-oriented reform to turn lottery institutions into companies, and improving the taxation on lottery business.

Lottery sales around the world have reached US$120 billion a year with an annual growth of 18 percent. China's lottery business has risen by 50 percent annually since it resumed in 1992 and, in 2002, lottery sales amounted to 45 billion yuan (about US$5.42 billion) in the country. To date, China's total lottery sales rank the ninth in the world.

With the normal economic performance, per-capital lottery sales in China average only to 13 yuan (nearly US$1.6), whereas in the United States and Spain, it stands at US$100, Peng noted. This indicates there is still a huge potential for China's lottery industry.

He attributed the present state of China's lottery business to the lack of a specific law, the independent operation of lottery business and qualified distribution mechanism, and to a shortage of competent professionals and professional means of marketing. Relevant tax policies should be worked out to revive the business, Peng suggested.

(Xinhua News Agency March 13, 2004)

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