11 Mar 2020
The rise of the lottery
Take note: Pooled or bespoke, charity lottery is on the rise.
In fact, according to Mintel’s exhaustive 2019 report, it’s going from strength to strength. Here at Woods Valldata, we see a huge window of opportunity for charities to take advantage of this exciting surge in lottery fever – whether through pooled lottery or all the way to your own bespoke lottery product.
Take a look at the key insights we gained from Mintel’s UK Lotteries Market report…
2017/18 was a great year for lotteries. The value of the market rose from £7.5 billion to £7.6 billion, with consumer expenditure totalling £3.5 billion. Lotteries now form the gambling industry’s second most valuable sector, close behind slots/gaming machines.
There’s no sign of the growth stopping, either. Camelot is investing heavily in digital initiatives, making it more convenient than ever for people to play lottery games online. Meaningful digital investment is forecast to help boost sales from 2018/19’s estimated value of £7.9 billion to an incredible £9.4 billion by 2023/24.
Society lotteries have taken off like never before. In the year running to March 2018, large society lotteries raised more money for good causes than ever before. Sales increased significantly, rising by 15% from £588 million in 2016/17 to £676 million in 2017/18.
Many charities have already picked up on the sizeable fundraising opportunity posed by lotteries, dramatically increasing their spend on lottery advertising. Cancer Research went from investing £254,000 on lottery advertising in 2017 to above-the-line expenditure of £1.8 million in 2018 (up 601%) – quite a difference!
Likewise, Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK, and Cats Protection more than doubled their lottery advertising spend in 2018.
The power of digital
The 1.4% increase in lottery sales in 2017/18 can be largely attributed to the launch of the full Android version of the National Lottery app. The app instantly facilitated quick access to games for millions of additional players, highlighting the immense (and growing) value of digital’s ability to enable the easy online purchase of tickets, via mobile devices.
Digital sales grew by a healthy 8% between 2016/17 and 2017/18, rising from £1.52 billion to £1.65 billion, gaining significant ground on retail: whilst the proportion of players buying lottery tickets online climbed from 24% in 2017 to 27% in 2018, in-person playing dropped by 5% during the same period.
As more and more of us depend on and own multiple mobile devices, the need for charity lottery operators to invest in mobile-friendly systems and products becomes ever more pressing – of Camelot’s digital sales, smartphones and tablets now account for over 40% of them.
The easy accessibility of mobile devices provides a powerful means of switching infrequent players to regulars. 18% of players often forget to purchase tickets: by persuading people to sign up to online apps, operators will be able to send notifications when charity lottery draws are taking place, in addition to offering players the option to sign up to direct debit schemes and regularly enter draws without having to lift a finger.
Many people still prefer to buy their lottery tickets the ‘traditional way’, in person (72%). This explains in part why retail continues to dominate, accounting for 78% of National Lottery sales.
As promising as emerging digital opportunities may be, the enduring popularity of retail demonstrates the importance of promoting all channels of purchase to grow charity lottery participation, from in-person to online.
Lottery games continue to appeal to a wide and varied audience.
Surprisingly, younger players (aged 16-34) are more likely to purchase lottery tickets in person (77%) than the older demographic (68% of 45-64 year-olds).
This is thought to be linked to younger players’ tendency to purchase tickets on impulse or due to a ‘fear of missing out’.
The trend of impulse buying appears to decline with age: only 20% of over 65s say they have bought a lottery ticket on impulse. For this generation, buying tickets is a rational decision predominantly shaped by benefit and cost. 23% of this group are influenced by lotteries’ support for good causes (in comparison to 17% overall) and 21% are more likely to say they have cut back on playing due to an increase in price (as opposed to 16% of all players).
Winning over a new generation
While lottery draws are particularly popular amongst people within medium-high income households (earning over £40,000) and 55-64 year-olds (44% for each group), there’s still much work when it comes to attracting the younger demographic: only 11% of 16-24 year-olds say they have taken part in a lottery draw during the past year, markedly less than the average (32%).
So, how can charity lottery operators win over the younger crowd?
They should start by focusing on harnessing the power of digital to incite a ‘fear of missing out’ in younger players: the ‘impulse purchase’ experience can be recreated within downloadable apps capable of reminding players to take part in draws via notifications. The ability to purchase tickets instantaneously via apps is likely to hold sizeable appeal for this demographic, increasing the frequency of their participation in lottery draws.
Targeted marketing campaigns and social media platforms should also be used to heighten awareness of lottery draws across all audience segments, including those who don’t currently play – 18% of non-players say they’re interested in playing lotteries in the future.
A significant opportunity exists for charity lottery operators to tap into individuals’ desire to be charitable and convert non-players, highlighting the positive impact of their support.
In addition to this, 17% of current players cite the knowledge that lotteries support good causes as an influence on their purchasing decision: there’s a clear possibility to boost altruistic players’ participation in lottery draws by increasing awareness of the difference they can make by joining in.
Operators can highlight the positive impact of charity lotteries via marketing campaigns and digital platforms that foreground the good causes behind them. Lotteries themselves are excellent generators of positive, emotionally engaging content, providing valuable material for inspirational case studies and success stories.
Our charity lottery service
The urge to play the lottery may fluctuate from draw to draw, but the human desire to make a difference is always there.
This prize-led form of acquisition and income-generating approach is proving to be a very effective method for growing a supporter base.
Woods Valldata is an experienced charity lottery provider with an industry-leading offering. Our comprehensive charity lottery service includes multi-channel recruitment, digital and mobile integration, player management, and compliance.
We have an exciting suite of Lottery products which facilitate over 250k players every week and can cater for charities both small and large.
Affinity Lottery is our latest lottery offering (available from March 2021). A pooled lottery with low entry cost perfect for small and medium sized charities looking to explore what weekly lottery can offer.
Interested? Get in touch today and find out how we can help you.