Digital lottery operators got a rare, and much-needed, boost from a University College Dublin economist Jim Power who says that their business model presents, “no meaningful threat” to national lotteries.
Power presented his findings in a report titled, An Assessment of the Online Gambling Market in Ireland, which was funded by the the European Lotto Betting Association (ELBA) and was released earlier this week. The report took a deep dive into lottery sales across Ireland to examine long term sales trends and the impact of digital lotteries/lottery wagering on the National Lottery.
The report did find that National Lottery sales have been declining over the course of the last decade. That decline, of course, predates the introduction of digital lotteries to the marketplace.
Power went on to support a basic fact of economics and the marketplace by suggesting that a digital lottery may actually be good for the lottery market as a whole. He points out, “…increased competition in the digital channel is an essential aspect in achieving long-term sustainability for good-causes funding.”
While Power’s study is nice piece of ammunition for besieged digital lottery operators, it wasn’t quite enough to convince traditional lottery operators to embrace new competitors. In a statement to the press, Premier Lotteries, a major Irish lottery operator dismissed Power’s findings saying that the researcher did not have a proper grasp of the lottery market. They went on to say that lotteries should be immune from market factors, such as competition, because they were originally set up to benefit charities, not to produce profits.