how operators remain responsible in the digital era
Along with being able to purchase our lottery tickets at a physical retailer, we can also purchase our tickets via the web at the operator’s online gaming website. And though many casinos are open or are reopening for in-person gaming, the COVID lock-down has actually changed the way we may play our favourite lottery games.
Along with the ability to play lottery games online as a way of dealing with the COVID reality, many gaming jurisdiction regulators are looking at opening up the operation of both casino games, and lottery games, to private operators who want to provide such entertainment in an online environment. Called Internet Gaming, or iGaming for short, this next phase of gambling for lottery players, will allow any operator to offer lottery games, not just those essentially run either at or not at arms-length from the government authorized operator.
So for instance, you will not just be able to play a state or country 6/49 or mega/power/ultra type lottery game, but you will now have the opportunity to play any lottery game with any type of theme, for example,The Devil’s 666, Cuddly Puppy Doggie, or 8/53 type lottery games at John’s iGaming, The Lottery Emporium, or Steve and Lisa’s Super Duper Lottery House, which would be private lottery operators.
This may sound scary and a bit fishy, but rest assured these private lottery operators would be subject to the same strict regulations the state or provincial lottery operators are. The company itself has to be vetted by the regulator for the financial ability to pay the registration, investigation, and licencing fees. Every executive of the company has to be investigated for previous criminal activity, their honesty in answering questions, and their financial history before being allowed a gaming licence. And all employees have to be investigated as well before any of them can be allowed a gaming licence.
The private lottery operator would have to follow the exact same rules and regulations in issuing online tickets, running the lottery, and verifying and paying out prizes. A proper Responsible Gambling program would have to be provided and players would have to have access to gambling addiction prevention features, such as self-exclusion, being able to put limits on their online account or in the number of tickets they can buy, or disabling the ability to replay each draw automatically. All of this is to ensure that any private lottery operator is at par with the state lottery operator in honesty, integrity, and transparency in their operations.
The private operators would have to give a portion of their profits to charities and a portion to the regulator. The majority of the rest of their profit goes into prizing and acquiring or updating equipment or software. Allowing private lottery operators is beneficial in a number of ways:
• It will provide increased donations to charities that benefit from lottery income
• It will increase the number and variety of lottery games and jackpots that players can choose from for an increase in fun, excitement, and entertainment
• Private operators will add competition to the industry and more choice for players
• It will allow people who are stuck at home for whatever reason to play the lottery on their computers, tablets, and smartphones.
iGaming is going to change the lottery gaming industry and create a more digital gaming and gambling environment for players to enjoy. With more variety in lottery games and operators, players will be able to find the exact lottery game they want to play, without having to visit a retailer or casino. We are now entering the digital lottery era with private operators and online games, buying tickets and receiving winnings, and with more lottery games than we can imagine.