A recent research study has indicated that the lottery has emerged as the most popular game for Australians to play. While the study indicates other forms of gambling, most notably casino gaming, have declined, the lottery continues to be popular.
What the Research Showed
The study surveyed 50,000 people across the country to determine its findings. More than 10.6 million people have gambled in some form during the previous calendar year. This represented about 55 percent of the adult population of Australia. Research demonstrated almost 45 percent of Australians bought a lottery ticket or a scratch-off card during the business year. The end of the year was June 30.
The number of people gambling overall in the country continued to decline. But, the number that continues to buy lottery tickets and scratch-off tickets has remained steady. That is about 7.7 million Australians, and that number includes people who play an online lottery game.
An Example of the Lottery Business
Tatts Group does the bulk of the lottery business in Australia. It has seen its lottery profits rise year over year. This year, Tatts’ lottery business grew by 3.6 percent ($2 billion) over the year in lottery sales. This is despite losses it accrued because of its acquisition by another company. Its lottery business increased last year because of new product offerings at the point of sale. In addition, Tatts has had a great response to its online lottery offerings. The digital marketplace for lotteries has continued to increase and comprises nearly 20 percent of all lottery sales. Experts expect this market to increase over the next year. Also, the lottery company benefitted from the excitement over large jackpots and new lottery or scratch-off ticket offerings.
A Warning on Demographics
So, Tatts has begun to offer online lottery purchases and games. However, research has demonstrated age is a factor with regard to lottery ticket sales. It showed 50- to 64-year-old adults bought more lottery and scratch-off tickets than age other age group combined (55.6 percent). In contrast, 39 percent of adults aged 35 to 49 bought lottery tickets and scratch-off tickets. Only 12.6 percent of adults aged 18 to 24 and 27 percent of adults aged 25 to 34 bought them.
The research also indicated lottery companies will need to move their offerings online and make them available through mobile applications. This is because of the overall betting trend. Younger adults tend to spend more time online than any other form of entertainment or activity. Companies marketing to young people online will have more success than companies that only offer tickets in shops.
The trend in online gaming will continue into 2019. In addition, there are some companies that are working toward incorporating lottery gaming with a progressive jackpot of slots. This would make the games more interesting and interactive. These new online games, with video and sound, will be available through an app. While the rollout of these blended games is a couple of years away, the buzz around them is genuine. These games incorporate lottery and scratch-off features in a digital format. Lottery companies will need to move toward these games and others like them. If the companies do this, they can ensure that lottery tickets and scratchers will remain popular.
The research also indicated that adults who are older do not like the online gaming features of the lotteries. They prefer to buy tickets in their local shops. Research has shown older adults go to the bet shop to buy tickets and scratch-offs for the companionship. This suggests, that for some adults, gambling has a social aspect. It is a way for them to get out and socialize.
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