Chinese online sports lottery provider 500.com has reported a net loss of RMB56.1 million (US$8.6 million) for the three months to 31 December 2020, improved from a loss of RMB322.7 million (US$50 million) in 4Q19 due to lower operating expenses and the absence of previous impairment provisions.
The company booked a slight increase in net revenues for the period, up 4.7% year-on-year to RMB9.0 million (US$1.4 million) and including RMB5.6 million (US$868,000) in revenue contribution from the company’s online lottery betting and online casino in Europethrough TMG.
Europe accounted for 62.2% of total net revenues, while there was also a slight increase of RMB600,000 (US$93,000) from sports information services in China that have been provided since early 2020.
500.com has made headlines in the Asian gaming industry in recent years for its involvement in a bribery scandal in Japan, where local representatives stand accused of offering money to House of Representatives member Tsukasa Akimoto in return for favorable treatment in its previously planned bid to develop a Japanese integrated resort. Those plans have long since been abandoned.
More recently, 500.com has revealed plans to “explore opportunities in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries” via its 54.2% interest in Loto Interactive Limited. Loto Interactive’s business arms include the provision of data analysis and storage services, distribution of mobile gaming and money lending in Hong Kong.
500.com revealed recently it has entered into a definitive purchase agreement for 5,900 bitcoin mining machines at a cost of RMB55.2 million (US$8.5 million), which are expected to arrive in 2Q21. The company is looking to acquire an additional 10,000 bitcoin mining machines this year, taking its total to 15,900.