China sets hotline for "immature" lottery addicts

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BEIJING, Nov 16 (Reuters) China has set up its first help centre for lottery addicts that offers counselling and legal assistance, the Beijing Morning Post said today.

Lotteries have become hugely popular among the poor and newly rich in China, where many forms of gambling are banned.

The service will be run by the lottery research centre at Peking University and will include a hotline for ''problem ticket holders'' to call.

''Problem buyers are those whose lottery ticket buying has a negative or destructive impact on themselves, their families or their careers,'' Wang Xuehong, director of the centre, was quoted as saying.

''Most people who buy lottery tickets in China are not mentally mature, and they still hold the belief that they can be rich overnight.'' Earlier this month, a lottery ticket seller was jailed for life for taking advantage of a system flaw to cash 3.76 million dollars in winning tickets.


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