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Talk of the day--Foreign online casino crushes Taiwan Sports Lottery

2013/02/17 21:22:00

The NT$8.3 billion (US$279.7 million ) losses accumulated by Taipei Fubon Bank over the last five years while issuing domestic sports lottery tickets were largely due to customers' spending at foreign lottery websites, according to local lottery retailers.

Taiwanese lottery retailers pointed out that the Philippines-based Jiu Zhou Technologies International, Inc., which runs the online gambling website, has long-targeted disgruntled Taiwanese gamblers who are eager to find an alternative to the heavily regulated Taiwan Sports Lottery.

The better odds offered at foreign casino sites also drew customers away from the more conservative local sports lottery, retailers said.

The following are excerpts from the Chinese-language China Times regarding Taiwanese gambling at foreign online casino sites., also known as Jiu-zhou Casino, is legally registered in the Philippines' Cagayan Special Economic Zone. The 24-hour website's major revenue source is from Taiwan and China.

The site's recent marketing campaign included providing new members with free tablet computers.

Shih Chun-yao, secretary-general of R.O.C. Lottery National Federation of Trade Unions, criticized Taipei Fubon Bank's marketing efforts and added that the government' s heavy-handed regulating of the country's sports lottery industry also stymied growth.

Shih said that the largest drawback of the Taiwan Sports Lottery is that gamblers often cannot bet on single games, but must wager on two games, and that they will only win if they purchase two straight-winning games.

In contrast, foreign casino websites do not have such limitations and the odds are much better, he said.

Local police also cannot directly crack down on foreign gambling websites due to legal reasons, resulting in the expansion of foreign online casino businesses in Taiwan.

Li Kuo-chung, deputy commander for technology at the Criminal Investigation Division of Keelung City, said foreign casino websites have three advantages over the domestic sports lottery: high privacy, better wining odds, and ease in placing bets.

The abundance of illegal gambling websites also proved difficult to crack down upon due to their high mobility, let alone the legal websites, which have resulted in many social problems as gamblers do not know whom to seek help from for their addictions, he said.

Adata Technology Co., a Taiwanese manufacturer of DRAM modules and flash-memory products, was chosen by Sports Affairs Council in late December last year as the new contractor for issuing sports lottery tickets.

Taipei Fubon Commercial bank will be selling the lottery tickets until the end of 2013. (Feb. 17, 2013)

(By Ann Chen)