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June 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Two of China’s biggest Internet companies are allowing World Cup watchers to bet on the outcome of individual matches, with proceeds going to charity, the Wall Street Journal reported today (Wednesday). As of Sunday their bets had totaled $642 million, nearly twice what was gambled during the soccer tournament in 2010, China’s lottery regulator told the Journal. The ability to bet, pay, and receive winnings on smartphones is the principal driving force behind the rise in World Cup gambling, the newspaper suggested. It quoted Cherry Tao, a 30-year-old public-relations worker from Shanghai, as saying, "Paying via Taobao’s smartphone application is handy and I feel myself more involved in the game." Another woman, IT company employee Zhang Rui, acknowledged that she didn’t put much effort in studying the teams that she bet on. She told the Journal that she bet only because it was convenient to do so on her smartphone. "Everything’s built up so easily that you don’t have to use your brain," she said.