When one of the world’s largest companies partners with a lottery operator, you know the industry is in the midst of some major changes. Ever since the first recorded lotteries took place during the Chinese Han Dynasty between 205 and 187 BC, the game has remained virtually unchanged. Indeed, the beauty of lotteries has always been their simplicity: one ticket, some numbered balls and prizes for those that match XX amount of numbers. With such a basic set-up, there has been little need for technology to intervene and reshape the way we play.
However, in recent years, that’s changed. Although the game itself hasn’t changed dramatically, modernity has finally enveloped the lottery industry and reshaped it for today’s players. The latest tech innovation within the industry goes back to the partnership we hinted at in our opening. Back in March 2018, AGTech Holdings announced a deal with Alipay. Under the terms of the deal, AGTech will utilise Alipay’s platform to promote a new China Sports Lottery to 31 provinces across the country.
The collaboration between a major payment processor and a lottery operator is the first of its kind and will give the China Sports Lottery access to 450+ million users. Moreover, with AGTech and Alipay having previously joined forces to share technology, the marketing drive will feed neatly into the payment system to allow smoother, more secure ticket purchases. While the March announcement from AGTech signals a new chapter in its evolution, it’s just another step in the overall growth of the lottery industry. In Europe, one of the major innovations in the last five years has been the creation of borderless games.
For decades, lotteries have been played on a local scale. However, through a rethinking of the underlying mechanics of the game and the aid of online technology, that’s all changed. At Lotto.net, players can now bet on almost any lottery from anywhere in the world. By offering a system where players speculate on a game rather than invest directly in it, platforms like Lotto.net make it possible for someone in the UK to bet on the Mega Millions draw, someone in Canada to play the Florida Lottery and more. As much as the internet has removed the borders between lotteries and players, it’s also introduced some quirky twists into the mix.A Twist with a Purpose - As much as the internet has removed the borders between lotteries and players, it’s also introduced some quirky twists into the mix.
Perhaps the quirkiest example of this is came in Easter 2018. Dubbed Hatch of the Day, the live lottery picked up on the streaming trend by broadcasting a draw with a twist. Much like the NBA has harnessed the live streaming powers of Twitch to reach new audiences, the bingo operator used its Facebook pager to a show live video of chicks hatching. Safely incubated and overseen by animal welfare experts, the eggs were numbered 1 to 49. As the eggs hatched, their number was recorded and the player/s that correctly guessed the first six to emerge from their shells won a prize.
Although the draw itself was something of a novelty, it demonstrates how technology is changing the face of lottery gaming. As well as making it more entertaining, these innovations have resulted in greater user engagement. From AGTech’s Alipay partnership to operators finding ways to cross borders and promote their products to global audiences, lotteries are now more accessible than ever thanks to technology. The upshot of this is that consumers now have more choice and, moreover, games have become more lucrative which, in many ways, is the reason lotteries have been popular for centuries.