Lotteries and charity set for a mutually supportive model

Lotteries and charity set for a mutually supportive model

Monday, January 8, 2018 Posted by Luke Massey
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RISQ previews an exciting year ahead for the bet-on-lottery sector

RISQ B2B Director Tom Mitchell takes a look at the merits of an unlikely marriage between bet-on-lotteries and charity, and suggests it could prove a welcome antidote to the challenges both sectors are facing.

Despite some negative EuroMillions headlines, there’s a hugely exciting year in store for the bet-on-lottery sector, as innovation meets increasing demand. Finding the right, outsourced solution has never been more important, and how operators cover the pivotal bases of price, risk, and operational management will sort the wheat from the chaff.

At RISQ, we’re beginning 2018 in the vanguard of this shift towards innovation and scalability, with the industry’s game-changing RNG (random number generator) already making waves, powering our clients’ jackpots up to £25m and beyond. But we’re not the only ones turning over a new leaf for the new year.

After the spendthrift demands of Christmas, the turn of the year traditionally foreshadows a more frugal time when people tighten their belts, and pledge to think of more charitable ways to spend their hard-earned. Indeed, roughly 12% of annual giving to charities occurs during the final three days of the calendar.

Charities, of course, have become alive to this fact. However, more progressive non-profits are now preparing to look beyond the psychological year-end spike for more sustainable systems that rely on year-long human inclinations instead.

Just take UNICEF, the world's leading organisation working for children in danger, who in the run-up to the festive period teamed up with the ZEAL Group for an unlikely but successful partnership in Norway. The “UNICEF-lotteriet” gave Norwegians the opportunity to win up to approximately €210,000, content in the knowledge that 30% of each ticket they bought was going straight to a hugely worthwhile cause.

Small-stakes-big-win scenarios are always going to give play to people’s dare-to-dream sensibilities, hence the enduring appeal of jackpots and the rise of bet-on-lottery operators. And the bigger and more credible any operator can make those jackpots, the greater the player-participation rates and subsequent loyalty. It’s the reason RISQ have developed our RNG which empowers operators to offer their players the non-networked chance of scooping £25m on any given jackpot game.

Certainly, any charities thinking of following the UNICEF initiative and partnering with an operator (or vice versa), should consider this avenue, with consistent contributions assured. Particularly as a perennial generator of income over more fallow periods. In the UK, charities with a lottery license can currently only offer a maximum jackpot of £25,000 or 10% of ticket sales (whichever amount is higher) up to a maximum of £400,000.

The Health Lottery, an umbrella lottery with a structure specifically designed to boost jackpots within these UK regulations, has already pursued this “society lottery” path effectively, rewarding players alongside 51 separate community-interest companies throughout Great Britain. So, there is definitely growing appetite. 

Lotteries have long provided the acceptable face of gambling, with more people typically playing regularly for small stakes. Therefore, this provides non-profits with a perfect opportunity to diversify their income streams, powered by a leading service provider in RISQ. And in turn, they can also expand their supporter base by giving players another validating reason to delve into wishful thinking by knowing they are simultaneously donating for the greater good.

It’s a creative solution which, for some, will straddle the ethical line. However, it may well help bring bet-on-lotteries back on the right side of that line in the court of public opinion. Especially after the recent EuroMillions inquiry, where concerns over good causes missing out saw the DCMS conclude that bet-on-lottery operators were diverting worthy funds away from cultural and charitable efforts, despite an absence of convincing evidence.

These are times when reason and practicality should be ascendant. In a climate where charities face significant obstacles to sustainable donations in the future (notably the phenomenon of “giving fatigue”, whereby patrons grow weary of competing or recurring charitable requests), new innovative angles can reframe lotteries as gateways to the public both supporting charitable work and winning large cash prizes along the way.

Lotteries and jackpots are some of the gaming industry’s most resilient perennials for enduring appeal. And as the accessibility of their increasing prize pots continues to ramp up user engagement, charities can piggy-back on the product with a genuinely scalable solution for reliable revenues over the long-term.

Meanwhile, on the operational side, I think we’ll see bet-on-lottery companies donating to charities. You can view that progressive stance as a lobbying tactic, or a consumer marketing strategy to harness more trust from the client. The goal, though, is that everyone will benefit in the long term.

RISQ will be exhibiting at ICE 2018 on Stand: S8-255. For further information or to book a meeting, contact jcm@risq.uk or click here.

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