Are the online lotteries run by the state government of India really online? Will paper tickets ever disappear? The pandemic has not been able to push Bharat state lotteries into cyberspace, but the future is digitally imminent.
What does “online lottery” mean in India?
Many people around the world imagine that the “online lottery” is something completely digital, including electronic tickets, and their marketing, distribution and sale takes place in cyberspace, and in the end, random number generators. sophisticated draw the winning numbers.
Currently, this is not exactly the case in India, and the best explanation of what “online lottery” in Bharat really means is given by the CEO of Sugal & Damani, now one of the biggest players in the world. country lottery market. “Online lottery means it is a retailer assisted lottery ticket that is sold at the retailer but controlled through a central server by the relevant state government,” as he puts it.
He should know, given that his company manages around 65% of India’s “online” lottery market through around 25,000 terminals across the country that process around 1.8 crore in transactions per day.
In accordance with Indian law, lotteries fall under state powers, and to date 13 states in Bharat have regulated and operated their own lottery draws. It is believed that this market contributed between 35,000 crore and 50,000 crore per year to public finances and state and national social protection programs.
The real digital online lottery exists in India
In addition to server-run government lottery programs, a number of dedicated online lottery websites provide Indians with access to digital copies or scanned paper tickets of up to 50 of the largest and most popular lottery draws. most popular in the world. So, desi online users can play on European, American, Asian and Australian market leaders such as MegaMillions, EuroMillions, El Gordo and many more.
Other websites compare the offers including the price of Powerball lottery tickets in India sold by various individual resellers to desi consumers as the famous American lottery tickets with unlimited jackpot are available for direct purchase only from consumers. United States, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands.
The digital effect of the Covid
A number of foreign lottery operators have responded to challenges posed by Covid-induced lockdowns with rapid digitization offering mobile versions and lottery apps to former paper ticket customers. Examples like the UK National Lottery have shown that online distribution has the ability to offset or even exceed declines in offline sales.
Many other businesses have survived or even maintained sustainability by migrating, either substantially or completely, to digital platforms. On the flip side, inherently online businesses like mobile gaming have seen a rapid increase, with users spending an average of 4.1 hours per week gaming on their smartphones during the first Covid-induced lockdowns, up from 2.5 hours. on average before the pandemic. Even after the lockdowns were eased, average playing time remained at a higher level than before Covid at 3.1 hours.
Indian state lotteries lag behind, but the future is looming
Even without taking into account the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Internet penetration in India is increasing rapidly with subscribers reaching 82,530 crore as of March 31, 2021, fueled by the availability of affordable smartphones and the cheapest mobile data plans in the world. world.
On the other hand, all lottery draws run by various Indian states stay on the conservative side instead of reinvesting a portion of their income in innovation and actual online operations.
International practice has shown that a transition to online operations will provide more opportunities for growth and increase revenues. At the same time, such a change will bring better control and raise safety standards, including putting in place modern solutions to tackle problem gambling and addictions. The creation of new job opportunities and the facilitation of payments are also among the benefits that the digitization of lotteries will bring.
Considering the importance of tax and non-tax lottery revenues, it is inevitable that this sector will follow the trend of digitization and move from server-assisted ‘online’ distribution and sale of paper tickets to a real existence. electronics in the online domain.