500.com Limited, a Ministry of Finance-authorised online sports-lottery vendor in China, saw its shares soar by more than 50 per cent during its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange Friday.

The company had priced its initial public offering of 5,786,000 American Depositary Shares (ADSs) at $13.00 per share, with each ADS representing ten Class A ordinary shares of the company.

This created a total offering size of $75.2m. The company said that it will use these funds for sales and marketing initiatives including advertising, to fund research and development as well as the continued investment in its technology platform, and other general corporate purposes.

The underwriters have been granted an option, exercisable within 30 days from the date of the final prospectus, to purchase up to 867,900 additional ADSs at $13.00 per share.

The company’s shares (NYSE:WBAI) closed at $20.01 per share Friday in New York, up 53.92 per cent following its first day of trading.

500.com acts as a non-exclusive online sports-lottery sales aggregator for a number of provincial sports-lottery administration centres in mainland China.

It is one of only two entities authorized by the Ministry of Finance to provide online lottery sales services on behalf of China Sports Lottery Administration Centre, the government authority in charge of the issuance and sale of sports lottery products in China.