Irish National Lottery is reporting strong sales and a boost to online registration following the launch of a new website.
The National Lottery in Ireland is enjoying quite a boom in its recently launched online business. The updated website with online betting options went live under Irish gambling laws just over a month ago. However, the amount of new registrations has already quadrupled according to the company’s figures.
The gambling company’s internet offering is dubbed simply Play Online and has been launched in March this year. It came into being in place of the old website, which contained a pretty complicated registrations process, which was the primary reason for very little interest. The new system allows lottery players to log on, register, and play within minutes.
Advertising campaign and prospects of growth
Naturally, the launch of the new website has been supported by a comprehensive advertising campaign to raise awareness and strengthen the National Lottery’s position on the online gambling market. Since the website went live, there number of registered players increased to 85,000, almost double the amount they had last year.
Irish lottery reveals strong online results
• After a change in Irish gambling laws the lottery went online
• A brand new website considerably simplified registration process
• The company will be relying on Camelot’s online sales expertise
The website is not only about lottery offerings, there are some casino-style games present and other ways to gamble. While 49, the number of games, is still small compared to those offered at online casinos in Ireland, the offerings are expected to increase every month.
Dermot Griffin, chief executive of the National Lottery, was quoted in Irish gambling news saying their online wing is now the fastest growing business. Although he had to note that some of the new registrants have already been part-registered before and were attracted to complete or renew their membership ahead of the new launch.
Taking this fact into consideration, Dermot Griffin is not expecting a huge increase in the number of players during the coming months.
Talking about some of the new services offered by Play Online, the executive has stressed brand new safeguards put in place to prevent underage gambling and minimize problem gambling among adult population.
Naturally, the requirement to provide proof of identification in order to receive prizes over EUR 500 is still in place. Other conditions include daily and weekly spending limits – something particularly useful for problem gamblers. The gamers will also need to withdraw portions of their winnings once their accounts cross the EUR 700 mark.
The Irish lawmakers have carried out a complete makeover of the lottery legislation earlier this year. The new set of laws was designed to specifically relax the online sales, and allow the lottery franchise to be sold off to a private business.
Prior to the changes, there have been certain restrictions on online gambling operations. Among others these included a necessity for players to be subjected to excruciating registration process, which scared off many potential players.
Some of those rules included the need to submit a passport or a driver’s license number in order to activate the online lottery account. The whole process took up a minimum of 48 hours, and some of the players simply refused to wait that long. Luckily, now it’s all a thing of the past, and online lottery offerings can be accessed within minutes.
Growing potential of online lottery and the owners
Online business has always been considered to have an untapped potential for lottery in Ireland and at the same time its biggest selling point. Currently the sales through online channel amount to only 1.5 percent of the overall lottery turnover in the country. Naturally, that figure will increase rapidly with the new rules and website.
Premier Lotteries, the consortium that purchased the National Lottery from the government, in not only focusing on the online channel. The consortium is made up by Camelot – the UK lottery operator, and An Post – the Irish Postal service, which also offers a diversified set of services.
Premier Lotteries have a difficult task ahead of them. The consortium has to turn the tables sales-wise, which have been falling for five years straight. The lottery sales in Ireland peaked in 2008 at EUR 840 million, and have been falling ever since to a low point of EUR 735 in 2012.
Camelot can rely on their vast online sales experience. The company has the world’s largest online lottery platform with over six million registered and active players. Their online wing makes up almost 20 percent of their annual turnover, which is valued at EUR 7.3 billion.
They plan on utilizing the same strategies for online offerings in Ireland, which are expected to boost the local market to 200,000 online players in the coming years.
Dermot Griffin revealed that the consortium will be leveraging Camelot’s experience and expertise to increase the number of online lottery players in Ireland. At the same time he was confident the online sales will not cannibalize high-street sales.
The land-based network of the Irish National Lottery comprises of 1,500 retailers. The executive said there is very strong evidence that both online and land-based channels are actually reinforcing each other, especially when big jackpot draws are happening.