Chinese lottery firms hope to cash in on World Cup

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Lottery companies don't know who will win the FIFA World Cup this year, but they all know that the quadrennial event is a sure moneymaker.

Chinese lottery companies have been preparing to cash in on it, a Shanghai-based security newspaper said.

Online lottery sales are expected to jump by at least 70 percent this year, from 42 billion yuan ($6.7 billion) in 2013, said a senior executive of the US-listed, a leading online lottery firm in China.

It is not an exaggerated estimate, as sales of sports lottery doubled during the 2010 World Cup to 4 billion yuan ($639 million), according to figures from Huatai Securities.

The Shenzhen-based has already launched a publicity campaign, and added more social networking features to its lottery sales platform, by signing an agreement with China Mobile E-commerce, the payment subsidiary of China Mobile.

The Jiangsu-based Zongyi Group, a new energy company that invested in a US biotechnology company last year, bought shares in four firms of online lottery on May 29.

The lottery industry requires great investments in research, human resources and managing brands,'s Vice-President Liang Benliang said, so companies from other industries tend to invest in existing firms instead of starting a new one.

Su Guojing, an official from the Beijing Welfare Lottery Center, said the country's policy exerts huge influence on the industry.

Shares in Welfare and Sports Lottery operators temporarily plunged last month, after a report said no lottery operators had been issued licenses to offer products online. A Ministry of Finance (MOF) official subsequently clarified that although no official licenses had been issued, online operations of several companies had been approved.

Official licenses may be granted before the World Cup.

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