The lottery doesn’t feel like it should be a bastion of innovation, but creativity is alive and well within the industry.
This international institution of both gaming and entertainment has evolved significantly from its traditional origins, adapting to the times and bringing in an entirely new demographic of players. Whether it’s through TV specials or industry-leading apps.
But what does the future hold for the lottery industry and what changes might we be able to predict in 2020?
Where are we now?
Table of Contents
Before we can start to speculate on where the industry may be heading, we first need to take stock of where it is.
As touched upon, the lottery has done well to keep with the times worldwide, much like the majority of the gambling industry. It’s embraced tech with open arms, and thanks to sites such as https://www.playhugelottos.com/en/play-the-lottery/usa-powerball.html international players have access to leading games such as the US powerball.
While the lottery may feel like a concept that would die down with the advent of mobile betting and online casino apps, the game’s popularity is largely stable and in many cases rising. A 2018 study (found on https://www.lottoland.co.uk/magazine/lottery-demographics.html) showed that a staggering 70% of over 18s in the UK claimed they play the lottery regularly.
For what many people would think is a stagnant concept and an industry lacking in innovative thinking, the lottery is very much living in 2020.
Mobile devices may have all but completely penetrated our culture, but they show no signs of letting up.
Even though everyone you know has a phone and spends hours of their day engrossed in apps, the mobile market is still a growing one with new trends emerging every week.
While the lottery industry hasn’t revolutionized mobile gaming, it has always had a presence. The next decade will likely see an evolution into emerging markets, such as Africa. These markets are seeing consumers much more likely to own a mobile device than a desktop computer, so adapting games to best suit these platforms is essential.
If there is to be a continued push towards mobile (and barring some technological revolution to replace it, this will be the case), the lottery industry will largely focus its efforts on making its core game and scratch cards more accessible, as well as ramping up accessibility to live-streamed draws.
A rethinking of retail
Is retail dead? If not then it’s surely dying?
While Amazon, Etsy and a long line of successful ecommerce stores may have taken the retail sector almost fully online in the last few decades, there is a belief from within the lottery sector that retail and online can co-exist.
Ultimately, there has been a huge shift in player preferences. While COVID-19 and lockdown restrictions have heavily moved the player base online, many experts believe players will continue to return to traditional retail practices. The act of buying a ticket and selecting numbers manually has become a tradition for many consumers.
As a new player base emerges lotteries across the world will need to adopt a hybrid model. Retail lottery tickets will become more of an impulse buy, while online can be used to build relationships and offer accessibility to a player base that appreciates it.
The future of the lottery may not be in high street stores, but they certainly have a role to play.
Although the lottery does have a wide audience of committed players, it could face an engagement challenge in the next few years.
To combat this, the overall branding of the concept could be given a digital facelift with the help of social media influencers.
Influencers have shown themselves to be one of the most powerful marketing tools for brands of all shapes and sizes, as this www.relevance.com article shows. Whether it’s a huge celebrity name or a niche micro-influencer, the power of trusted recommendations has never been so evident.
The unique content influencers generate and the breadth of different influencers across social media right now might just be a perfect way for the lottery to find new audiences. Branded content could be used to explain games, attract players with unique offers and build a community around a game. It might not be as natural a crossover as influencers and fashion, but it wouldn’t be an entirely surprising one.
Higher frequency and variety
At the time of writing, most national lotteries run draws once or twice a week.
Players have become accustomed to the idea of buying a ticket and anxiously awaiting the draw a few days down the line. But what if that wasn’t the case? What if tech and a more segregated player base for unique games made it possible for there to be a different draw every day?
We live in a culture built around instant gratification. With that in mind, the obvious place the lottery needs to go to to attract new audiences is one of constant satisfaction and immediate results. Could micro-lotteries with smaller prize pools be in the future of the brand? Or would a limited jackpot and overexposure kill the excitement and draw of the concept?
It’s hard to really predict where the lottery industry will go. It’s in a surprisingly strong state, and it’s integration with tech isn’t quite as obvious as with many other industries.
Digitizing the product and the process is obvious, but could we see more surprises from the world’s most adaptable game? Only time will tell.