BEIJING, April 9 (Xinhua) -- China's lottery sales declined 8.8 percent year-on-year to 23.4 billion yuan (about 3.5 billion U.S. dollars) in February, according to the Ministry of Finance (MOF).
Sales of welfare lottery tickets dropped by 13.9 percent from a year ago to 11.3 billion yuan, while sports lottery sales went down 3.4 percent to 12.1 billion yuan, the MOF said in a statement.
In the first two months, lottery sales reached 71.36 billion yuan, an increase of 11.5 percent over the same period last year.
Under China's lottery management rules, money from lottery ticket sales is used for administrative expenses, public welfare projects and prize money.
Seven provincial-level regions posted year-on-year sales increases in February, with Sichuan, Henan, Anhui, Shanghai and Yunnan leading the sales growth.
China's total lottery sales in 2018 stood at 511.47 billion yuan, up 19.9 percent year-on-year.