The global lottery sector got off to a “modest start” in 2017, with reporting lotteries eking out a first-quarter on first-quarter aggregate increase in sales of 0.9%, new data from the World Lottery Association (WLA) indicates.
According to the WLA’s latest Quarterly Lottery Sales Indicator, “solid performances” in Asia-Pacific and Latin America were counterbalanced by a “marked decrease” in sales in North America – due primarily to last year’s record-breaking $1.6 billion Powerball draw.
Latin American lotteries enjoyed a first-quarter sales increase of 5.8%. Underpinning the positive results was the performance of Argentina’s Loteria Nacional Sociedad del Estado, which reported growth in sales of 22.2% for the first three months of 2017.
Also enjoying a robust performance was Chile’s Polla Chilena, which reported a first-quarter on first-quarter increase in sales of 12.5%. Mexico’s Loteria Nacional reported a 5% increase in first-quarter sales, while Brazil’s Caixa reported an increase in sales of 2.5% over the same timeframe.
In the Asia-Pacific region, sales were up 5.4% over the first quarter of 2017, as against the first quarter of 2016. Dominating the market were the results of the Chinese lotteries, such as in Hong Kong, where the Hong Kong Jockey Club enjoyed a first-quarter on first-quarter increase in sales of 7.5%.
According to the WLA, the strong performance was mainly driven by an impressive 10.1% growth in racing, thanks to multiple growth levers including additional racedays and the continued growth of customer base and commingling, which underline the growing attractiveness of Hong Kong’s world-class horse racing.
In mainland China, meanwhile, sales at the China Sports Lottery grew by 6.6% first-quarter on first-quarter, while sales at the China Welfare Lottery grew 3.5% over the same comparative time period.
Reporting European lotteries held steady, recording an aggregate decrease in sales of 0.9% first-quarter on first-quarter. Strong gains at Hungary’s Szerencsejáték Zrt. and Poland’s Totalizator Sportowy were counterbalanced by poorer results in the UK.
Lotteries in North America, meanwhile, recorded an aggregate decrease in sales of 7.2%, on the back of the $1.6 billion Powerball draw of January 2016. The record-breaking draw, which offered the biggest jackpot seen to date of anywhere in the world, resulted in a bonanza first quarter 2016 for US lotteries.
However, without a drawcard of similar magnitude, sales across the US suffered in comparison during the first quarter of 2017, contributing to the overall decline in sales indicated.
Participating lotteries in the US were down across the board, in some cases by double-digit margins, the WLA said.
Totally Gaming says: Under normal circumstances, growth of less than 1% would present little cause for celebration. However, given the fact that global lotteries managed to achieve this result in the wake of 2016’s record-breaking Powerball draw in North America, the industry is clearly holding its own.