Official lottery product sales in Mainland China for April increased by 9% from the same time last year while total sales for the month approached CNY41.71 billion (US$6.5 billion).

Welfare lottery sales saw a 5.3% year-on-year increase to CNY19.91 billion, while at approximately CNY22 billion, sports lottery sales swelled by 12.7%, according to a Wednesday announcement by the country’s Ministry of Finance, GGRAsia reports.

From January through April this year, the sale of lottery products swelled by 9.3% year-on-year to approximately CNY145.88 billion. At CNY73.92 billion, sports lottery sales rose by 16.5% year-on-year while from January 1 to April 30, welfare lottery sales were up 2.7 % from the same time last year and total sales were at CNY71.96 billion.

For the month of April, in 26 of 31 municipalities and provinces in Mainland China that are authorized to sell official lottery tickets, sales increased. Sales of welfare lottery tickets and sports lottery tickets increased 5.7% year-on-year in April in Guangdong province, where last year the highest combined sales of said tickets were reported.

The coastal province of southeast China, which borders Hong Kong and Macau [Guangdong], continues to be mainland China’s top lottery market. From January through April 2018, sales of welfare lottery tickets and sports lottery tickets combined reached nearly CNY14.22 billion, an increase of 10.2% from the year prior.

Following Guangdong in sales was Jiangsu province, which saw total lottery ticket sales of approximately CNY11.98 billion, a swell of 15.2% year-on-year. Meanwhile, in eastern China, Shandong province ranked third, reporting ticket sales of approximately CNY10.98 billion from January through April this year, an increase of 2.0% from the year prior, according to China’s Ministry of Finance.