Opportunities to buy lottery tickets online abound, and such chances have existed for years already. However, what has come as a surprise in 2021 is a decision by multiple official entities to completely abandon traditional lottery sales for the sake of more innovative practices.
The latest World Lottery Association announcement will leave you completely shook, just like it had us in complete disbelief.
Biggest Lotteries Move Sales 100% Online
The coronavirus pandemic had many lotto entities worldwide shutting down their offices throughout lockdowns and social distancing measures.
Numerous US states decided to discontinue ticket sales through lottery offices throughout official lockdowns. During these periods, prize claims were also not processed in person (winners typically had to contact the lottery by mail to move the process forward).
South Africa, Australia, and various European countries also undertook measures that made it much more difficult to partake in the lottery in person.
The results of these measures proved to be devastating. Many lotto authorities registered a massive reduction in sales that in some instances exceeded 20 percent on an annual basis and even more. Some transformation needed to happen to save the industry and provide players with new opportunities for safe partaking in their favorite game.
On March 5, 2021, the World Lottery Association (WLA) issued an official release recommending a digital transformation in line with the Covid-19 pandemic and the measures aimed at curbing the virus’s spread.
In the announcement, the WLA stated the following:
Given the current state of affairs, lottery organizations will have to adopt new business models to ensure industry survival and better opportunities for players. WLA has analyzed lottery performance in 2020, reaching the conclusion that current operational and sales models are completely outdated to address contemporary realities. In line with these new dynamics, we recommend a switch to an online or mobile-based sales model for lottery corporations that have the infrastructure in place and can afford to make the transition.
The recommendation is based on reports, industry forecasts, and expert recommendations that WLA officials have reviewed. While the recommendation presented in the above-quoted announcement isn’t mandatory, lottery agencies from across the globe have already responded.
A New Reality for the Biggest Lotteries
If you live in the US, Canada, or Australia and you’re wondering, “where are the closest lottery retailers near me,” the time has come to a stop thinking in such terms.
These three countries are the first to adopt the new WLA guidelines, announcing that they’ll be making a switch to ticket sales online at the end of March.
This means that if you’re thinking about where to buy lottery tickets, you shouldn’t be. The days of the paper-based ticket are long over. You can now buy a lottery online (via the respective entities’ websites) or through your smartphone. Depending on the company responsible for organizing the lottery in the respective part of the world, ticket purchases would happen either through a mobile app or by sending a text message to a specific number and following steps to complete the ticket acquisition.
For many, the move has come as a shock.
New York Times interviewed numerous lottery enthusiasts, inquiring about their attitude towards the brand new work mode.
Anna Michaelson, 71, from New York City, told the publication that the switch was a complete shock. Anna was used to visiting her local supermarket and getting her Powerball ticket there every single week. For her, the trip to the store and the selection of her lucky numbers had turned into a ritual that could not be replaced by online ticket buying.
For her, the decision to buy Powerball online was also linked to a massive switch. Anna told New York Times that her computer literacy wasn’t that great. So, to partake in her favorite game of luck now, she would need to get some assistance from grandkids. Anna revealed she had never bought anything online in her life before but that her love for Powerball was too big to stop playing.
Prize Payouts and Other Procedures Unaffected by the Change
The announced changes about buying lottery tickets are now official only in the three countries mentioned above. However, major European lottery organizers and companies in South American countries are also considering a switch based on the WLA guidelines.
However, keep in mind that you will buy lottery tickets online, but other essential processes will remain unchanged (as far as lottery companies participating in the new program have announced).
Anyone wishing to cash out prizes will have to follow the procedures that are now in place. For most small sums, payments can be processed online, and the winning amount will be credited to the player’s wallet. For larger prizes, however, winners will need to get in touch with the lottery to find out what information will be required to process the payment.
In the event of jackpot winners having to reveal their identity (like the procedure currently is in the US), there will still be press conferences and the cheque’s official handing.
Have We Moved to a New Century of Lottery Services?
It seems that the good, old traditional lottery is coming to extinction.
Or is it?
The Lotto Exposed team would like to wish you a happy April Fools’ Day! Yep, we made up the announcement, and we hope that we’ve got you this time around!
So far, the lottery isn’t making such a definitive mood, and you can still buy tickets from the neighborhood shop. And if you’re a fan of online lotto ticket buying, there are both official platforms and third-party service providers you can count on.
What do you think about lotteries going entirely digital with their ticket sales? Do you believe such a move is feasible in the years to come? Let us know what your opinion on the topic is in the comments below.