Study reveals who plays the lottery in India and where the industry is headed

Lottery is the most popular and legal real-money game in Bharat, across adult demographics, States and social classes. A sizable source of public revenue, State-run lotteries need to reinvent their business model with online operations and legislative support so that they can keep attracting the younger generations.

A Huge Public Industry in Need of Central Regulation and Innovation

Lotteries are a true tradition for many states around the nation, thirteen to be exact. Government draws offer cheap tickets and remain hugely popular, drawing in substantial revenues for the government treasuries. Yet they remain largely ignored by financial reports in the media and industry research.

A recent study published by ENV Media offers a thorough breakdown of the scope, demographics and trends that shape the legal lottery market. Player profiles and the total size of the Union gaming tradition confirm the importance of lottery as a social and financial phenomenon.

Reputable comparison sites for lotteries such as Online Lotteries India list and review the major international competition in terms of online lotteries available to Indians. Offshore platforms become more appealing to tech-savvy players with a busier lifestyle. While ticket prices may be somewhat higher, the huge jackpots make foreign lotteries more attractive to a growing share of players.

Attempts to pass blanket bans on lotteries in India have backfired in the past, the study says, forcing consumers to choose between offshore distribution and local black markets. Global trends suggest, however, that as more online lottery games become available, State governments will need to digitize their products – and tackle some taxation issues – to be able to compete and grow their user base among younger generations.

Profile of the Average Desi Lottery Player

The research piece describes the typical lottery player as a married man around 30 years of age. A wage laborer, he is likely to rent a place for his family, with a kid or two. Industry data confirms also that those who play the lottery rarely engage in other gambling forms, excluding casino or cricket sports betting.

ENV Media’s own statistics show that males dominate the market with almost 80% of registered online users. Adults under 34 years account for 56.4% of the market but the majority comes from the 25-34 age group (around a third of all players). Despite some solid adoption levels across the board, the drop in the Under-25 age group shows that lottery is marginally starting to lose appeal among the youngest.

Regional differences are also broken down, with Kerala running the most successful paper-based lottery. In a state with high life expectancy and literacy rates, players seem to appreciate the Government message of “trustworthy, democratic and transparent” more than the possibility to buy cheap lottery tickets or hit the highest jackpot out there.

Goa demographics also confirm that lottery is the most frequent gambling genre, with 67.8% share of all players (half of all locals). With age, Goans reportedly turn to lottery more than anything else.

Digital Platforms Are Inevitable

The legal lottery business brings as much as Rs 50,000 crore to public coffers annually. If regulated well – including on a national level – it has a fantastic potential to support public welfare programs, local employment and other public objectives.

The inability to transition to online operations, however, makes States fall behind a number of fast-paced gaming and entertainment business models that gain popularity via mobile apps and social media.

ENV data illustrates why Tier-1 cities are important in the online lottery market, with much of the search volumes coming from these urban areas. The research also reveals, however, that states which do not have a legal lottery on their territory – like Tamil Nadu, Telangana or Delhi – provide up to two-thirds of the overall online traffic towards offshore lotteries.

Evidently, players are always likely to seek alternatives, whether online or on the local black market. States (and the Centre) are advised to cover their bases and offer online support and more user-friendly legislation and taxation so that the public finances do not lose the favour of the majority of desi players over time.

Disclaimer: Gambling involves an element of financial risk and maybe addictive. Please play responsibly and at your own risk. Subject to applicable laws.

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