Changes in consumer behaviour will radically affect the lotteries business, says solutions supplier Spinola Gaming.
There will be a permanent shift in the landscape of the lottery industry as a result of Covid-19 and much of it will move online, probably before consumer behaviour is forced to adapt to new circumstances.
The lockdown has been disastrous for all non-essential businesses, leaving land-based operators without a means to sell tickets. Developing nations have been particularly badly hit. Costa Rica, for example, has announced that its government will give financial support to 2,000 lottery ticket vendors until June.
Spinola says that many land-based operators believe that the lockdown has six months to run yet, which could mean that many businesses will have been prevented from trading for over 150 days. “Consumer behaviour, if forced to change, will adapt to new habits in 60 to 90 days. While retail vendors are closed, online third party operators remain open for business and are already beginning to win the loyalty of land-based players.”
The company’s CEO, Ade Repcenko, said that there is no way for pen and paper lotteries to compete under the current circumstances. He believes solely land-based operators should move their brand online as soon as possible, or risk losing customers forever.
“Our industry is undergoing a change that has been long overdue. The transition to online was bound to happen eventually in order to sustain business long-term, but it is now happening by force,” stated Repcenko.
“It takes 60 to 90 days to change a habit and after that there is no going back. This process is going to take longer than 60 to 90 days, so customers’ habits are most certainly going to change, especially when they realise that it’s a better way of doing things regardless of the current pandemic. Online will become the new normal for the majority of lottery players.”