Canada Lottery Aims for More Interactive Gambling

Lotteries looking to make digital gambling games fun for young players.

Lotteries looking to Make Digital Gambling Games Fun for Young PlayersThe decade old question of how to get today’s millennial generation to gamble rages on. Casinos have had this discussion time and again, creating more nightclubs and lounge atmospheres with integrated digital touch-screen gambling tablets to play on. All this is in an effort to counter the fast-rising popularity of online and mobile casino gambling.

It’s not just slot machines that fail to interest the younger generation. Canada’s lottery programs are suffering, too. Adults under 35 aren’t interested in filling out paper slips. They’re used to getting entertainment by way of much more sophisticated technology. So, the lotteries are hoping to pique their interest with new interactive gambling games.

Online Lotteries Not Enough to Attract Millennials

The idea to make lottery tickets available over the internet was an obvious one, but not a very effective one. Most provinces now provide their adult citizens with the option to purchase online lottery tickets on a desktop computer, smartphone or tablet. But how much entertainment can one get out of tapping a screen to choose numbers and buy a lottery ticket?

Sarah Rogalsky of Winnipeg told the Manitoba Post that she’s never purchased a ticket “on her own”. At 32 years of age, Rogalsky’s only participation comes from contributing $2 to a lottery office pool each week. Even that, she only does for the social enjoyment of it.

“I’ve never bought a lottery ticket on my own,” she said. Rogalsky adds that it isn’t just a lack of interest that stops her, but knowledge of the horrendous odds. “My parents would buy lottery tickets because they thought there was a chance they would win, whereas someone like me, I know how low those chances literally are.”

She’s not the only one, and it’s got lottery officials more worried than ever. In 2014, the Interprovincial Lottery Corp, which oversees all provincial lottery corporations in Canada, requested proposals for a new game, similar to Lotto 6/49, that would appeal to people under 35. The response has been… underwhelming.

How to Make Digital Gambling Games Fun

The Big Spin Lottery TicketIn the last four years, the only real advancements in Canadian lotteries have been to make the games more accessible and interactive. Tech-friendliness is, at the least, something today’s younger generation can relate to. Launching online casino games has been successful for the provincial lottery corporations of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, but it’s done little for actual lottery sale.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG) has enhanced its marketing with interactive gambling displays in local retail shops. Last fall, OLG launched The Big Spin, a scratch-off ticket linked to a digital spinning wheel game in convenient stores. The luckiest players win a trip to Toronto to spin a big, physical money wheel that guarantees a 6-figure payout.

According to OLG spokesman Tony Bitonti, “investing in digital technology and product solutions” is all part of their strategy for “improving the customer experience and ensuring it is responsive to changing customer expectations.”

Whether these efforts will pay off has yet to be seen. No doubt it will take several years’ worth of revenue reports to identify the latest digital gambling games as a success or failure.

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