China's Scratch Card Obsession

China is a truly intriguing country because of how much information the government holds back from the outside world. It is now of great relevance because of the fact that the country is on its way to becoming an economic giant of major relevance for us all. International countries send countless manufacturing orders to China, with these contracts fuelling economic growth. In spite of the influx of economic wealth, the Chinese government still has to resort to unusual methods of raising money to improve the lives of its people. And there is no way that you would have guessed that scratch cards form a key portion within their strategy to try and raise the required money.

£20bn Spent in 2011

In regards to gambling, this activity is not widely legalised in China. Macau is the only province in which gamblers can go to high-rise casinos and have such a wide section of legal opportunities. On a smaller scale, China do offer gambling – except the only legal form is scratch cards and lottery tickets. The people of China seem to have insatiable appetite for purchasing scratch cards and lottery tickets. Figures for 2011 indicate that the level of sales China surpassed £20 billion that year, increasing by 33% from 2010.

Government Marketing

The reason why so many people purchase scratch cards resides with the Chinese government. The Chinese Communist Party are the current rulers and are using scratch cards as a way of raising funds for marginalised sections of the community. Encouragement to purchase is given in the form of advertising campaigns which praise the contribution of those that buy them regularly. Purchasers are informed that they are doing their bit to help the sick and the elderly, however, that is not to say that they aren’t promised a transformed life if they should win.

Addiction Beginning to Emerge

The rise of scratchcard interest in China has contributed to create sections of the population willing to turn to crime to obtain them. Scratchcards in China are marketed with the promise of living a better life, hence why some are utilising criminal methods to acquire them. In addition, there are signs that this appetite is fast spiralling into addiction for some. One of the universities in Beijing estimates that more than seven million people presently have a gambling problem. The Chinese government has tried to force scratchcards in this instance rather than let people decide for themselves.