Despite Record Sales, UK Lottery Participation Falls
New figures released by the UK Gambling Commission last week show that National Lottery draw participation has dropped from 46% in 2012 to 32% in 2015.
Industry experts blame the decline on several factors. One is the increase in 2013 from £1 to £2 for a Lotto ticket. Moreover, in exchange for substantially bigger jackpots, UK National Lottery operator Camelot dramatically lowered the odds of winning by introducing ten additional balls in each draw.
Despite falling participation, Camelot’s latest set of accounts shows ticket sales for the six months to September 26 last year reached a record high of £3.6 billion. It would thus seem that fewer people are buying more tickets.
Camelot itself says there has been no change in its player numbers. Basing itself on “larger sample sizes over longer periods,” the company claims that “overall participation across all National Lottery games remains high at around 70%.”
As Camelot’s latest figures also show a 15% growth year-on-year for its online games and scratchcards, it further appears that at least some traditional lottery players have switched to other forms of gambling.
Ben Haden, the UK Gambling Commission director responsible for the National Lottery, commented: “Draw-based games across the world often tend to experience drop-offs in participation over time and need reinvigoration, and that’s why we’ve agreed to a number of changes in recent years, including Lotto changes.”
“This reinvigoration has seen an increase in sales for Lotto and consequently the amount going to good causes.”
“Meager Jackpots Lead to NZ Lottery Decline”
Speaking of the relation between lottery sales and jackpot sizes, a spokesperson of the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs claimed that the country’s 9.2% decline in lottery revenue in its latest financial year had been caused by a lack of big jackpot prizes:
“Lotto sales are quite volatile and driven by the size of first division and jackpot prizes. In 2015, fewer customers were drawn to Lotto products, since there was only one week in which the Powerball jackpot went above NZ$20m. Prior to 2015, Lotto sales were on an upward trend, with an average increase of five per cent per annum from 2010 to 2014.”
Claim… and Counterclaim
As we’ve reported earlier, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands found in 2015 that the Dutch State Lottery in the past structurally misrepresented the odds of winning by having large numbers of unsold tickets participating in their draws, leading to a €300 million class action claim by Stichting Loterijverlies on behalf of its 194,000 members.
Following reports that that Loterijverlies founder Ferdy Roet has been using the contributions of claimants for private gain rather than pursuing legal action, several claimants have now decided to sue Roet and his foundation, demanding the return of their deposits and the removal of Roet from his position.
Meanwhile, Israeli entrepreneur Tal Silberstein is suing the Österreichische Lotterien GmbH for €822.000, following a failed deal to invest in Video Lottery Terminals (VLT’s).
Spanish State Lottery Goes Big with Social Media Selfie Campaign
Spanish state-owned Loterías y Apuestas put a selfie of a winning player and her grandmother on a 36×27 meter canvas and hung it from a building on Madrid’s busiest street.
The giant selfie is part of the lottery’s campaign “There is nothing bigger,” illustrating how players’ lives would change after winning EuroMillions.
The campaign joins the trend of employing user-generated social media content for marketing purposes. Lucía Angulo, CEO of Shackleton agency, said that “#SelfieConTuAbuela illustrates that if the content is relevant to the consumer, a campaign can run and take off exclusively on social networks. The more customers are actively involved, the greater the empathy they will feel with a brand.”
Gaming tech firm Pariplay has launched an online gambling content aggregator platform providing operators access to hundreds of high-profile online casino games.
Australian firm Frontier Capital Group Ltd. has dropped its lottery venture in Mongolia.
Following China’s industry-wide suspension of online lottery sales, sports lottery operator 500.com reports its third straight quarter of nil revenue.
Winning lottery numbers generally do not appear in crystal balls, a credulous (and currently broke) German nurse found out.