COVID-19 shaping the future for US lotteries

Due to the pandemic, many states have implemented a digital platform for ticket sales with all of them experiencing a surge in online ticket sales

State lottery operators from Oregon to Maryland are encouraging their own state officials to permit the sale of online tickets to become the new norm as a sharp decrease in retail has plummeted in such outlets throughout towns and cities across the US. CEO for Spinola Gaming, Ade Repcenko, has been at the forefront in helping several national lotteries around the world in transitioning to a digital form of sale, has told the iGaming Times that he believes that such an upgrade is needed and is the future for the US lottery sector.

In Ade Repcenko's interview with iGaming Times the CEO for Spinola Gaming stated:

“Retail operators need to take a look at the post-Covid19 world and its impact on player needs and expectations, and think about what it means for the future of lotteries.” “Digital is the way forward and is set to play a huge part in our industry over the coming years. Solutions like the ones offered by Spinola Gaming provide land-based operators with a holistic solution that helps operators make the move to digital, while still maintaining their traditional retail operations through one seamless interface. The software allows operators to monitor all lottery ticket sales and track all online and offline purchases in real-time, complete with a myriad of marketing functions and analytics available at the touch of a button. The system is available across all markets, currencies and languages and is fully customisable.”

It seems that operators are certainly taking Repcenko's words on board as the lottery sector are all requesting that their states will implement a digital platform for ticket sales. The current pandemic has also helped push this initiative with people trying to avoid congregating in large groups or needlessly going out.

During several state lockdowns, a number of states such as: Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, North Dakota and Virginia have taken upon themselves to legalise digital lottery ticket sales. The mentioned states were not left disappointed as many of them registered an increase in online ticket sales, with the state of New Hampshire recording a massive jump in relation to first-time online players - amounting to 38%. Meanwhile, as expected, the remaining states who have not adopted the same approach like those who legalised digital lottery sales, all experienced a drop in sales and revenue.

Oregon State Lottery director Mr. Barry Pack (pictured), outlined that the traditional retailers based in Oregon lost 70% of their customers due to the Barry Pack-1imposed lock down. He added, “The recovery from this pandemic is going to force a digital transformation in our industry a whole lot more quickly than we might normally have seen it come,” he said. “When the legislature reconvenes next week, they’re facing a billion-dollar shortfall. Their opinions about mobile gaming will change. I think there will be less resistance.”

Furthermore, Maryland Lottery director, Mr Gordon Medenica agrees with Barry Pack`s views. He commented that “We’ve been pushing a digital transformation and online selling ever since I’ve been in this industry, over the past 10 to 15 years,” he said. “In Maryland, they passed a law three years ago banning sales on the internet. I think we’ll see a dramatic change and I’m looking forward to it.”

Despite the fact that the notion of digital sales is now shared by the bulk of key lottery figures in the US, operators within the state do still require regulations to be amended in order to go ahead with the transition.

Should these changes not come into play in the near future, the US market will fall behind the rest of the world, as Latin America, Australia, Africa and Asia are already permitted to conduct online sales. It's about time a country as developed as the US finally legalises online lottery operations. The pandemic has really pushed this need for change and also shows the importance of going digital in this era, with state lotteries more interested than ever to make the change.

SiGMA website adds French as its 6th language:

SiGMA Group is excited to announce the addition of a 6th language to its website. Users can now find all content, including the SiGMA News website, in French. The latest addition to SiGMA’s portfolio of languages will run alongside the recently launched Russian, Mandarin, Spanish, and Portuguese content, and aims to cater to SiGMA’s wide portfolio of international events.

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