Digital Opportunities for Lottery Operators


Lotteries are a form of gambling where a number of people buy tickets for a chance to win prizes. They are generally advertised as being a “game of chance”, but the odds are usually not set in advance. The prizes range from a few dollars to a few million. However, as with any form of gambling, participants risk losing their money.

Lotteries provide a means of raising funds for a wide variety of public purposes, including schools, libraries, and colleges. In addition, lotteries have been used to finance local militias and fortifications. Some states also used the proceeds to pay for roads and bridges.

As the lottery industry has evolved into a digital environment, a variety of new opportunities have emerged. These include leveraging data to better understand consumer preferences and behaviour, building an omnichannel experience, and providing more immersive player experiences across all channels.

A growing demand for convenience is driving the need for a streamlined, personalized, and interactive experience for customers. As a result, lotteries are implementing a digital strategy to re-engage core players, and to deliver more engaging experiences across all channels. By leveraging the power of data and a customer-first approach, lottery operators can build a foundation for continued growth, while keeping their business safe from fraud and scams.

With the introduction of Instant Games, wagering and play are now possible via mobile and web platforms. For example, the Illinois Lottery offers its “Scan-N-Play” digital play experience for retail players. This includes a casino-like game where customers can choose whether to play for a chance at a jackpot or for a chance at a smaller prize.

With the introduction of digital wallets, consumers can now store their tickets online and collect winnings. This allows for real-time data collection, and it also bolsters responsible gaming programs. Increasingly, lotteries are working to make their digital presence more accessible to players, by removing friction at the point of purchase.

Lotteries are also expanding their digital presence with the advent of real-time marketing. These strategies are helping to spur sales in physical and digital environments. Whether it is through a retail cross-promotion, an email/push notification, or a customised mobile experience, lotteries can increase engagement with players while reducing their cost of acquisition.

One of the most influential influences on lottery expansion has been the rise of iGaming. As iGaming evolves, it has spurred the expansion of lottery and sports betting. When the repeal of PASPA made sports betting legal in 34 states plus Washington DC, the expansion of the industry was further accelerated. Today, lottery companies and sports betting operators compete with one another to meet the expectations of digital gamers.

Lotteries need to offer a variety of products to satisfy customers. While the product will likely vary by lottery, they can use data to better understand and cater to specific customer segments. At the same time, they need to establish rules and regulations, such as the prohibition of sale to minors.