How Digital Shakes Up the Lottery World: Iraqi Man Wins $6.4m US Lottery Jackpot through Third-Country Online Reseller
An Iraqi man playing in the Oregon Lottery with a ticket purchased from an Israeli online reseller has won a $6.4m jackpot.
The Israeli website, Thelotter.com, resells lottery tickets from various countries to customers living around the globe, charging a significant markup: no less than 300% in the Oregon case. The winning ticket was originally bought by an employee of The Lotter at a deli in Bend, Oregon.
While noteworthy in itself, this case also perfectly illustrates that the ongoing digital transformation has created a demand – unforeseen by regulators and current legislation – for lottery tickets offering large jackpots in territories that are currently underserved, such as Iraq.
While there is no substitution taking place (there is no official lottery in Iraq), this case does raise questions, for instance with regard to the role of middlemen unconnected to the actual lotteries. Is this the way the industry should go?
Besides unauthorized resellers, bet-on-lottery operators are also profiting from the global demand to “participate” in lotteries with large jackpots. One such operator, Gibraltar-based Lottoland for instance, has grown since its inception in 2013 to more than 130 staffers, two million customers and approximately 200,000 daily players – most likely individuals that traditional lotteries are no longer reaching. EGR has a Q&A with its CEO here.
Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) Approves Lottery Merger
The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has approved the proposed merger between the Stichting Exploitatie Nederlandse Staatsloterij (De Staatsloterij) en Stichting Nationale Sporttotalisator (De Lotto).
Although a merger between the Staatsloterij and De Lotto would result in only two parties (the other being the Nationale Goede Doelen Loterijen NV, owner of the Postcodeloterij, BankGiroLoterij, and Vriendenloterij) dominating the Dutch lottery market, this would not, according to the ACM, cause a market distortion, as the these lotteries are not competing for the same players:
“The national government provides only one license for each kind of lottery. […] These rules are designed to prevent compulsive gambling and simultaneously ensure that very little competition between the various lotteries is possible.”
The full decision by the ACM can be read here.
Spanish Organization for People with Disabilities Challenges ONCE’s Private Lottery Monopoly
ONCE, an association representing the blind or partially sighted, is currently the only private organization (apart from the public body Sociedad Estatal Loterías y Apuestas del Estado) that is allowed to organize lotteries in Spain, currently controlling ca 11% of the national lottery market.
Another organization meant to benefit disabled people, the Organización Impulsora de Discapacitados (OID), is now calling for an end to that monopoly. The president of the OID has even decided to go on hunger strike in order to achieve that goal.
This rather dramatic attempt to mobilize public opinion, was preceded last year by an unsuccessful appeal to European legislation, as the European Commission found that “a monopoly for the organisation of lotteries in Spain can be considered compatible with EU law, as long as this restriction is justified by overriding reasons in the public interest.”
Will the OID have better luck this time?
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