Using a variety of digital platforms, lotteries are creating new player experiences. Specifically, future-focused lotteries are developing engagement tactics and an omnichannel approach to deliver more engaging and immersive digital play experiences. By building an integrated approach across channels, they can better understand consumer behavior and drive incremental growth.
Lotteries must place players at the center of the brand experience. This requires strategic development of products and services to meet the needs of the customer. Whether retail or digital, lottery operators must consider the location and preferences of customers to ensure the best possible customer experience.
Today, lottery products have a lower risk profile than other forms of gaming. The most popular lottery, Mega Millions, offers jackpot prizes ranging from $10,000 to $200,000. While a jackpot is typically a one-time payment, the winner can choose to receive an annuity or a lump sum payout.
Digital expansion has created a more convenient and accessible lottery for players. A growing number of states have authorized online lottery ticket sales. However, the regulatory landscape is complicated. Most jurisdictions prohibit lottery tickets for sale to minors and prohibit wagering. Even if a lottery allows for the purchase of tickets, it must still be licensed to sell them.
Several online lotteries have expanded their service offerings to include Instant Games. These allow players to play casino-like games. They can also use mobile cashing to digitally collect their winnings. In addition, many lotteries have developed accelerated non-wagering programs to build the foundation for future evolution to online sales.
Future-focused lotteries are leveraging digital platforms to understand player habits and behaviour. They can leverage sales data to identify segments and develop real-time marketing campaigns to attract new players. They can also build personalised engagement strategies that support responsible gaming initiatives. To ensure their long-term viability, lotteries must also incorporate their gaming environment across all areas of the business.
Data underpins all lottery activity. Machine-learning models can predict how players will interact with a particular product. Lotteries can also develop automated communication flows that cater to individual player segments. Ultimately, the digital lottery should be seen as a complementary channel, not a competitor.
The US lottery industry has a rich history. Several US colonies used the lottery to raise funds for college scholarships, roads, fortifications, and other public projects. During the colonial era, there were over 200 lotteries in the US. Some, such as the Loterie Royale, proved to be a fiasco. Other lotteries were tolerated.
Despite the popularity of lotteries, the United States never outlawed them. In fact, some governments endorse them. The first US state to offer a lottery was New Hampshire. Another example is Puerto Rico.
Currently, only seven US states have a full iLottery program. Other state-sponsored lottery organizations are considering expanding their online reach. Until then, retail-only operators must grow parallel to the digital expansion. Developing a strong digital presence and a digital strategy are essential to revitalizing excitement for core players.
Responsible lottery growth requires support for retailers and retailers’ education about the importance of lottery safety. It also requires data-driven decision making and readily available treatment.