Underground sports lottery operators are moving to social media amid the closure of numerous betting apps and a rise in traffic due to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Following the start of the event, online sports lottery platforms in China are flourishing. According to a Global Times report, four out of the top 10 free apps in China’s Apple App Store are sports lottery-related apps. The popularity, however, has drawn concerns over the legitimacy and problems of online sports betting and gambling platforms.

Local media reports suggest that dozens of online sports lottery apps have been shut down this week for no apparent reason—some platforms claim to be upgrading their systems while others attribute their shuttering to the unprecedented number of site visits.

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Nicole Jao

Nicole Jao is a reporter based in Beijing. She’s passionate about emerging trends, news, and stories of human interest within the world of technology. Connect with her on Twitter or via email: nicole.jao.iting@gmail.com.