The statistics on what adult players and non-players want—based on IGT’s “For the Win: A Global Study of Player Motivations”—reveal pent-up demand for cashless payments, according to the company’s latest white paper “Achieving Relevance: Modernizing the Lottery Experience.” The multi-stage, 10-country study surveyed 8,130 adult players and non-players.
There is a huge desire among consumers to have alternatives to cash. In general, consumers prefer digital payments (credit, debit, mobile, e-commerce) over cash for everyday purchases.

Alternatives to Cash

Consider: One in four British consumers will actively avoid businesses that have a cash-only policy. And only 25% of American now pay with cash (compared to 33% just five years ago).

According to research conducted by Mastercard and Accenture, cash is the least preferred payment option across all age groups and is expected to worsen (-11%) by 2020.

In addition, 80% of the lottery industry’s core retail channels (discount stores, supermarkets and gas stations) prefer cashless. Moreover, retailer’s total sales increase when consumers have a cashless option.

“Yet while the rest of the world moves away from physical currency and towards digital transactions, cash remains the most common form of payment among lottery players (85%),” said Gerard Caro, Senior Director of IGT’s Insights360 group. “However, most common should not be confused with most popular. According to a recent Foresight Factory consumer study, 47% of weekly lottery players dislike using cash to pay for things.”

IGT’s study found that players prefer digital purchases for lottery products with a preference toward credit (+10%), mobile (+15%) or a payment service such as PayPal (+17%).

But there’s a tension between current retailers, legislators and lottery organizations in terms of fulfilling consumer’s needs. There is also misinformation among retailers. A 2014 survey in Indiana found one-third of retailers erroneously believed it was illegal to purchase a lottery ticket with a debit card.
The IGT study found that today, 40% of lottery purchases are impulse (up from 37% in 2012) and that 34% of Regular Players and 54% of Light Players buy on impulse.

Of course, impulse purchasing is more of an opportunity than a desired income. As a result, going cashless makes the lottery more convenient for players, so converting impulse buyers to planned ones will drive frequency and ultimately increase revenue.

Moving online can also help improve a lottery’s bottom line. In the study’s 10 countries, 32% of consumers mention that they’d like to purchase lottery tickets online, clearly showing growth potential.

The implication of the study is clear—“failing to provide consumers with a preferred way to access the lottery will become more problematic as the shift to digital continues.

Already e-ticket preference has grown from 12% in 2012 to 18% in 2016, and when you take into account demographic data such as country, income and age, those preferences can differ in intensity.”

In countries where internet gaming is long established (14+ years), online play and purchasing represents a large portion of total sales (Finland: approx. 50% and United Kingdom approx. 20%). In addition, online sales are projected to grow (CAGR: Finland: 13.2%; UK: 10.4%).

Improving the in-store experience at brick and mortar retailers is essential, especially if a lottery can’t implement an e-commerce solution. Lululemon and Apple are great examples of brands that offer in-store experiences that are natural and adoptable.

Shifting away from the service desk toward in-lane checkout is one such approach. The IGT study reported that “44% of Total and 58% of Millennials state that they would spend more money on lottery tickets if in-lane checkout was an option.”

Overall Implications

Three key opportunities present itself for lottery marketers.

Offer a mobile solution—79% of adults have their smartphones within reach for 21 hours each day. Solely relying on foot traffic to gain sales isn’t ideal. Lotteries must explore how to add mobile payment and play.

Increase self-service terminals (SSTs)—41% of consumers say they would increase purchases of lottery tickets if there were a self-service option. Lotteries need to optimize SST placement and promote the option.

Install in-lane sales—50% of consumers seek a convenient shopping experience. It’s crucial to streamline the in-store shopping experience. The IGT study found that 58% of younger consumers were more likely to increase lottery spending vs. 38% of consumers over age 35.

The complete white paper, “Achieving Relevance: Modernizing the Lottery Experience,” is available at