The Asian Games in Hangzhou and new instant win games sparked a surge in lottery revenue in China in September.

According to the figures, China’s state lottery saw a 58.3% increase in total lottery ticket sales to CNY52.8 billion ($7.2 billion/€6.8 billion/£5.9 billion) in September. published by the Ministry of Finance.

The most notable increase was in guessing lottery sales – effectively sports betting – which rose 70.1% year-on-year to CNY21.9 billion. The ministry said the increase in major events such as the multi-sport Asian Games, which began in the last week of the month, was the reason for the increase.

The Finance Ministry said the launch of new instant lottery tickets and the expansion of new channels were also responsible for the growth during the month. Digital lottery revenue increased 15.0% to CNY14.9 billion, while instant lottery revenue increased 152% to CNY12.5 billion. Keno lottery sales rose 36.9% to CNY34.9 billion.

In September, the sales volume of digital lottery, guessing, instant and keno lottery tickets accounted for 28.2%, 41.5%, 23.7% and 6.6% of total lottery sales, respectively. Instant’s share rose from 22.7% in the previous month.

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The Asian Games also influenced the increase in sports lottery sales compared to the welfare lottery. Welfare lottery institutions’ revenue rose 47.9% to CNY 18.213 billion, while sports revenue rose 64.5% to CNY 34.6 billion.

In September, lottery sales increased in all provinces of the country compared to the same period last year. Zhejiang, the region where Hangzhou is located, saw sales increase by CNY 1.6 billion, with Guangdong increasing the most at CNY 2.0 billion.

A total of CNY428.5 billion worth of lottery tickets were sold nationwide from January to September, an increase of CNY147.3 billion or 52.4% year-on-year. Sports betting accounted for 43.2% of revenue during the period at CNY184.9 billion, an increase of 93.6%. Lottery revenue rose a more modest 11.9% to CNY129.8 billion, accounting for 30.3% of total revenue.