Land-based lottery operations are seeing a significant drop in sales as the global spread of Coronavirus continues to impact the traditional pen and paper market.
Emerging markets are taking the biggest hit, with operators in South America, India, and China all heavily feeling the effect of curfews and lockdowns. The latter saw sales fall 43.3 percent year-on-year in January, with other national markets expected to follow suit as the impact of COVID-19 worsens.
However, even the North American market has been badly affected. In Massachusetts, lottery revenue dropped by $1.3m in the second week of March, in Arkansas, it dropped $3.6m from January to February, and in Ohio, land-based lottery terminals in grocery stores are expected to be closed after being overrun with demand since the local casinos shut. Canadian-based operators Loto-Quebec and OLG have already completely suspended their land-based operations.
The fall in revenue for operators will also mean less money raised for good causes, and the knock-on effect will be that organisations in the public sector that depend on this type of charity funding will suffer. However, while land-based operators lag behind, online operators are acquiring new players and seeing a spike in revenue.
“In these circumstances, third party online operators become a real threat to the industry as players are turning to them in order to play the lottery games they normally get from the corner stores,” said Ade Repcenko, CEO of lottery solutions provider Spinola Gaming. “This threat, if prolonged, could make players change their habits and stick to online once the coronavirus goes away, which will have long standing ramifications for the industry at large.”
To help counter the threat, Spinola Gaming is offering a series of online webinars to show how its products and services can allow land-based operators to compete again. The company wants to demonstrate the ease at which the transition can be made, and that it will not disturb their existing land-based operations once the market recovers.
“We want to show operators how we can get them live in a matter of weeks with very minimal financial impact,” concluded Repcenko. “We have fast, cost effective solutions to allow operators to get back to business in a matter of weeks, with our market leading solutions enabling them to reach players in the comfort of their own home.”