Published: January 15, 2019

Taiwan sports lottery sales rise over 30% in 2018

Taipei, Jan. 15 (CNA) Sports lottery ticket sales in Taiwan rose more than 30 percent year-on-year largely on the back of enthusiasm over the 2018 FIFA World Cup, statistics released by Taiwan Sports Lottery Co. showed Tuesday.

In addition to the World Cup, held from June 14 to July 15 in Russia, the Asian Games from Aug.18-Sept. 25 in Indonesia also provided a significant boost to sales, the company said.

In 2018, sports lottery sales rose 32 percent from a year earlier to NT$43.6 billion (US$1.42 billion), the first time annual revenue has passed the NT$40 billion mark.

Taiwan Sports Lottery President Lin Po-tai (林博泰) told the press that the World Cup generated about NT$7.05 billion in sales last year, while the Asian Games contributed about NT$950 million.

Due to the World Cup, Lin said, lottery tickets betting on football games accounted for more than 30 percent of total sales in 2018, while bets on baseball and basketball, two historically popular sports in Taiwan, made up 25 percent each, with bets on tennis matches representing about 10 percent.

With online betting growing in popularity in Taiwan, sports lottery online sales accounted for 21 percent of the year's total sales, the company said.

In terms of online betting, football games accounted for about 30 percent, followed by baseball (27 percent) and basketball (24 percent), the company said.

Lin said although there is no major sports event like the World Cup this year, the company has added volleyball games for sports fans to bet on, with a total of 40,000 games available for betting throughout the year, so he still expects sports lottery ticket sales to challenge the NT$40 billion mark.

Bucking the upturn in sports lottery sales, overall sales, including revenue from Grand Lottery and Power Lottery, operated by Taiwan Lottery Co. fell 7.6 percent from a year earlier to NT$110.47 billion, the lowest in six years, according to the firm.

However, Taiwan Lottery sales remained above NT$100 billion for the seventh consecutive year, the company said.

In 2015, Taiwan Lottery sales hit a new high of NT$137.65 billion but fell 14.42 percent in 2016, when a strong earthquake hit Tainan, causing more than 100 deaths. In 2017, sales rebounded slightly, up 1.44 percent.

Hsueh Hsiang-chuan (薛香川), chairman of Taiwan Lottery, said the company plans to introduce new lotteries in a bid to boost buying.

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