Alibaba, one of the largest online retail company, has recently been reported to be making a big gambling move into the lottery and poker market. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. affiliates is reported to be investing $308 million in order to gain 59% control over AGTech Holdings Ltd. - a move that will help make their return on the lottery market after exiting last year due to government restrictions.
The Chinese lottery provider, AGTech, will now be able to expand their lottery distribution thanks to the influx of money. The deal will not only allow them to cover more provinces, but it will also allow them to add hardware and expand their games. It is estimated that around 7% of Mainland Chinese take part in the lottery. However, when compared to the more than 50% in Hong Kong, the potential for growth is definitely promising.
Another move that Alibaba is making is on poker. Asian news outlets report that Alibaba Sports is entering partnership with China's Ocean Sports and Entertainment and will be offering "Match Poker." Ocean Sports has connections with International Poker Federation (IFP).
Match Poker was developed by IFP and has the capacity to exploit a loophole that is found in the Chinese gambling law. The team-based game will compete for points but without using any physical cards. The IFP claims that the removal of random dealing, playing in team, delivery of digital cards into electronic devices, and calculation of scores based on cards at hand, will effectively place the game under e-sport instead of gambling.
Patrick Nally, President of the IFP said: "The alliance between Oceans and Alibaba Sports creates one of the most powerful forces in sports marketing anywhere in the world.
"Oceans and Alibaba Sports creates one of the most powerful forces in sports marketing anywhere in the world."
The companies are seen to make money through subscriptions, clubs, and tournaments.