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China cracks down private gambling in WeChat groups during World Cup

Niji Ng

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China cracks down private gambling in WeChat groups during World Cup
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Online gambling was banned by the Chinese government in 2015. But the FIFA World Cup in Russia triggered a sudden growth of online gambling activities, especially in WeChat groups.

The Chinese authorities are cracking down such illegal gambling operations. The government is concerned that online lotteries, driven by profit, may give access to underage teenagers or create other management loopholes, while others complain about the inconvenience of going into a lottery store and said the ban has prompted many to bet in WeChat groups or go to foreign websites.

“Always illegal”

During the World Cup this year, mobile apps and websites selling the lotteries have flourished, with some topping the app store list, including the Tiantianaicaipiao, Renrenzhongcaipiao and Caipiaocaipiao.

After the official clampdown, however, such platforms and those backed by Weibo and Tencent have suspended operations, CNR reported. Many such websites come up with this notice when one tries to log on: “System is under maintenance and upgrade.”

“Purchasing lotteries online has always been illegal. Relatively lax supervision by authorities led to a spike in recent years,” Adrian Geng, the CEO of Sina Caitong, told the Global Times.

Operators are willing to take risks because of the allure of huge profits, Geng added.

In 2015, eight central government agencies banned online lottery, citing risks to buyers’ interests.

Under lottery management rules, no entity shall carry out the business of sale of lottery via internet without the approval of the Ministry of Finance. All sports lottery tickets are sold offline through branches run by the General Administration of Sports.

If lotteries were sold widely online, underage teenagers who are not allowed to bet would get access. Income from online sales cannot be identified at a provincial level as Chinese lottery sales are province-based, Geng explained.

As of June 20, the National Sports Lottery Center suspended thousands of sales terminals involved in online ticket sales in many provinces, Xinhualuncai, a WeChat account specializing in lottery, reported. The number of suspended machines was expected to reach more than 6,000 on June 21, the report said.

Geng said that meeting social responsibility, rather than making money, is the ultimate goal of the National Sports Lottery Center. “That’s why the center wouldn’t use the FIFA World Cup to advertise itself for more revenue.”

Total sales of China’s sports lotteries in the week from June 18 to 24 stood at 11.83 billion yuan ($1.7 billion), while it was only 1.6 billion yuan a week before the World Cup, data released on sporttery.cn, official website of lottery SMG, shows.

Not market-driven

Even though online lottery is banned, Chinese gamblers still have many options to taste the thrill of betting.

Xue, a PhD student based in Shanghai, said that many of his friends use private gambling in WeChat groups, in which one person is the “banker” and provides winning and losing rates.

Mobile payment on Alipay and WeChat allows us to gamble in private with small amounts of money more conveniently. We don’t have to choose online lottery,” Xue told the Global Times.

“I feel everyone is betting this year during the World Cup. Even many people who don’t watch soccer matches are into it,” he said.

Foreign gambling websites also illegally sneak into the Chinese market in an effort to take a share of the spoils, which results in huge outflow of capital of Chinese citizens, Chen Haiping, a researcher at the Gaming Research Center of China with Beijing Normal University, told the Global Times.

Some stores or groups on platforms such as Taobao, WeChat and QQ have also been found claiming that they are commissioned to sell lottery, according to Nandu Daily.

Lottery is seen as a welfare project in China. Its issuers are not motivated by the market, only routinely raising funds to meet the financing gap of the government for good causes, Chen noted.

But the trend of internet, said Chen, is irresistible and the lottery has already developed into an industry involving tourism, amusement and culture. There has been talk of opening online lottery services inside Chinese government circles in recent years, but since different interest groups are involved, the progress has been slow.

 

Source: globaltimes.cn

Niji has been in the writing industry for well over a decade or so. He prides himself as one of the few survivors left in the world who have actually mastered the impossible art of copy editing. Niji graduated in Physics and obtained his Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. He has always interested in sports writing and travel writing. He has written for numerous websites and his in-depth analytical articles top sports magazines like Cricket Today and Sports Today. Besides reporting industry headlines from all around the globe, Niji is also head of the content management team at Impressions Content Management, based in Kerala, India, which offers writing and editing services to clients around the world.

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Asia

Philippines casino shows strong results

Niji Ng

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Philippines casino shows strong results
Photo Source: vigattintourism.com
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Resorts World Manila, an integrated resort in the Philippines posted impressive results for the third quarter to September 30. The company reported an overall revenue of PHP4.7bn (€68.8m), which higher than the revenue of PHP3.5bn (€58.3m) in the previous comparative quarter.

The above figure is only the revenue from gaming activities. Non-gaming businesses, including hotel, F&B and other retail, reported a revenue of PHP5.9bn (€ 98.4m) and the year-to-date to PHP16.9bn (€261.8m). The net profit for the year-to-date was PHP1.8bn (€30m).

Resorts World Manila has been operating as a casino and hotel since 2009. Operator Travellers International Hotel Group also has other hotels and an events and convention centre.

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Asia

Lottery corruption scandal erupts in China

Niji Ng

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Lottery corruption scandal erupts in China
Photo Source: seeker.com
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An alleged lottery corruption scam is snowballing into a big social media controversy in China. The main allegation is that RMB136 billion (US$19.5 billion) has been eaten up by corrupt lottery administrators.

It must be remembered that there has been “temporary” ban on online lottery in China for several year.

The latest controversy revolves around the accusation that it is almost impossible for ordinary lottery punters to win a major prize. Following the allegation, four former senior Welfare Lottery officials, led by disgraced former Welfare Lottery director Wang Suying, admitted that there was systemic corruption in the sector.

Government officially rejected the quantum of corruption. But its lack of transparency is making the matters only worse. The government refused to provide the details of losses on grounds that it would be inconvenient.

Publically available figures date back to 2012 and are contained in a National Audit Office report in 2015, which disclosed that corrupt lottery officials had stolen or misused almost RMB17 billion between January 2012 and October 2014.

Part of those losses was in the online sector, where administrators allegedly failed to officially report all online sales, pocketing the balance and triggering the long-running “temporary” suspension of online sales by the government which remains in force at present – three years on.

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Tencent Cloud Korea Conference Showcases the Latest in Game Globalization Solutions

George Miller

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Tencent Cloud Korea Conference Showcases the Latest in Game Globalization Solutions
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Tencent, a leading internet services provider, held its Tencent Cloud Korea Conference in Busan, South Korea, on November 14, 2018, to showcase its latest industry solutions developed based on its extensive partnerships with global game companies. Dao Feng, Vice President of Tencent Cloud, and Joannie Kwon, CEO of SKY addressed hundreds of developers and executives at the event as an introduction of Tencent Cloud’s gaming capabilities and services ahead of the G-STAR 2018 exhibition, also held in Busan.

“Tencent considers Korea an important market, with its advanced and highly competitive game sector”, said Dao Feng, Vice President of Tencent Cloud, “Tencent Cloud is committed to providing leading cloud services, enriched by its gaming know-how, for game developers and publishers in Korean and worldwide.”

In line with the exhibition’s theme, Connecting Players Around the World, the Tencent Cloud Korea Conference featured a wide range of capabilities and case studies to highlight its worldwide services, including Tencent Cloud’s global infrastructure, its network optimization, Internet information security protection, service interfaces and its Global Application Accelerate Platform (GAAP) developed to address common challenges on latency and network lag for game companies.

Tencent also introduced the experience in developing and operating its game business, including the breadth of its gaming ecosystem and its key capabilities in gaming solutions as supported by Tencent Cloud. Tencent Cloud’s global network of high-speed interconnection covers the vast majority of players around the world and provides 24×7 Full Path Control customer service.

Experts from Tencent Cloud gave in-depth introductions on key priorities for games, including reliable cloud migration solutions that enable seamless migration between servers, object-based storage, database, big data and other Tencent Cloud solutions.

The conference showcased Tencent Cloud’s strength in boosting the global expansion of its game business and international game companies. Tencent Cloud aims to enhance its customer and partner network in the global market.

 

About Tencent:

Tencent uses technology to enrich the lives of Internet users. Our social products Weixin and QQ link our users to a rich digital content catalogue including games, video, music and books. Our proprietary targeting technology helps advertisers reach out to hundreds of millions of consumers in China. Our infrastructure services including payment, security, cloud and artificial intelligence create differentiated offerings and support our partners’ business growth.

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