Chinese authorities crack down on WeChat betting groups

The Chinese government has been working hard to clamp down on illegal World Cup betting groups organized on WeChat, Taobao and QQ, Global Times reports.

Despite online lotteries being banned by the Chinese government in 2015, recent data shows a huge surge in online lotteries, with WeChat, Taobao and QQ groups and foreign websites offering illegal betting on the tournament.

The fever has also been felt by China’s Sports Lottery, the country’s official sports lottery provider, which saw total sales from June 18-24 reach RMB11.8 billion (US$1.7 billion), up from only RMB1.6 billion the week before, according to data from Sports SMG.

In June, Macau’s gaming regulator reported a 12.5 percent year-on-year increase in GGR, a result far below analyst expectation. Bernstein analysts said that Chinese punters made less trips to Macau in the latter half of the month as a result of the tournament.