Despite sluggish economies around the globe – or perhaps because of them, lottery sales worldwide experienced a notable 8% surge last year. Such rapid growth in any $275 billion industry is sure to turn heads. When it occurs in an established industry that has only begun to tap into the digital marketplace, it will leave heads spinning. Such is the situation with digital lotteries.
From the U.S. to Europe to China, online lotteries represent the hottest trend in one of the world’s oldest pastimes. With 2.2 billion gamblers in the world, it should not be surprising that the opportunity to gamble from the privacy of one’s own home is going to have a very strong appeal. The ease with which the lottery allows even non-gamblers to have a shot at riches makes it one of the most popular games, both for retail and online participation. In 2015, the lottery was played by more than half of all Americans—more than any other form of gambling.
Online Lottery Platform Development
Few industries offer the projected growth, minimal regulation, and earnings potential of online lotteries. With few laws prohibiting online lottery operations, online lottery businesses represent a golden opportunity to tap into a lucrative industry. All this begs the question – what it takes to develop an online lottery platform?
Essentially, an online lottery platform consists of the website and lottery management software that facilitates the selection and purchase of tickets by visitors, and which provides notification and payouts of winning. The platform must include mechanisms to manage player accounts, and to provide analysis of game results. Additional, but optional, features include marketing tools to attract and retain players, a customer service portal for handling player questions and issues, and blocking capability to prevent ticket purchases from the few countries that prohibit online gambling.
In order for any online gambling provider to be successful, a user-friendly and robust lottery website is required. Whether the platform software is purchased or developed for the site, it must provide, at a minimum the following features:
Channels for Players
The online lotto platform is really a combination of platforms: website, mobile, mobile app, Short Message Service (SMS), and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD).
Even though 60% of web traffic now originates from a mobile device, desktop and laptop users must be able to enjoy the same betting experience as mobile users. At the same time, mobile users must not be denied the same features available to non-mobile users.
Custom gaming apps represent an additional cost, but the popularity of gambling apps can result in a substantial ROI.
Not all lottery site operators allow SMS or USSD betting, but the ability to login and make quick bets using only text appeals to many players. Like gaming apps, the additional technology required to accept text-based betting will add to the platform cost, but could be well-worth the investment.
Online gaming entails the same risks as any other online enterprise that processes payments. Specifically:
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- Software vulnerabilities
- Server security vulnerabilities
- Network vulnerabilities
- Payment information security vulnerabilities
These risks can be mitigated only through careful system design that addresses vulnerabilities at the software, hardware, and network levels. The availability of low-cost, or even “free” lottery software online is cause for concern, as any site running a budget lottery platform is unlikely to include measures to protect players’ sensitive information.
All reputable lottery site owners encourage players to gamble responsibly. This is accomplished through directing new players to read and acknowledge a Responsible Gaming (or Gambling) Policy, in-game alert to remind players to play responsibly, and through providing players with a self-management control panel for setting their own limits.
Platforms should utilize means for age-verification to prevent underage players from accessing the games. Failure to exercise due diligence, here, can lead to civil and possibly criminal penalties. For this reason, professional developers are required to ensure that the platform not only includes an age-verification layer, but that the feature is reasonably secure from talented young hackers.
Professionally designed platforms allow owners to set game risks, track revenue and payouts, provide auto-responses to common user questions, and to manage the portfolio of global lotteries made available to players.
A very important feature is the ability to allow owners to select either local agent ticket purchasing, or insurance certificates. Flexible systems allow owners to utilize local agent purchases for certain lotteries, and insurance certificates for others.
A well-planned lottery platform management system will enable owners to continually adjust their platform to facilitate new games quickly, without having to go offline.
Payment processing of ticket purchases for online lotteries is no trivial matter. With cyber criminals continually on the prowl for the next soft target, online lottery owners can’t afford to gamble with their customers’ information.
When it comes time to purchase tickets, players want two things: an easy payment experience, and a secure transaction. Accomplishing these objectives requires development of a payment portal that integrates seamlessly with the lottery platform, and which is built using Best Practices for electronic payment processing.
A feature-rich payment processing system will accommodate all major portable devices equally. A payment processing portal that gets buggy when running on certain devices is not one that should be deployed.
Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, and payment by card should all be offered, along with PCI DSS compliance support.
Integration with your back office system should be doable without having to rebuild major sections of code.
Finally, emailed receipts of transactions should be automatic, along with fast and effective customer support.
Mobile lottery application
The popularity of mobile devices, especially smartphones, is expected to continue driving online lotto ticket sales through 2019. Although responsive online lotto platforms accommodate mobile players, they do not have the tech appeal of a lotto app.
Mobile lottery app development requires developers to have a complete understanding of the lottery platform, in addition to possessing the skills needed for mobile app development. Even non-gambling gaming apps do not necessarily meet the standards required for secure mobile lotto’s. For apps to be an asset to online lotto site owners, rather than a liability, they must not present undue security vulnerabilities. Poorly designed apps can easily jeopardize player login information as well as payment information.
With this in mind, mobile lotto apps work best when custom development is utilized, rather than employing 3rd-party applications.
The future of online lottery
According to Research and Markets, the global lottery industry is projected to grow by 8.85% by the end of the decade.
A report by Juniper Research indicates that the growth of online gambling will be aided by the increasing liberalization of the digital marketplace throughout Europe. The report projects that 1 in 10 adults, worldwide, will have participated in online gambling by 2019.
Ignite Outsourcing and Online Lottery Platforms
Ignite is a software outsourcing company with several R&D centers in Western Europe. Among the custom development services we provide is improving the functionality, security, and profitability of existing online lottery platforms. Our team of world-class developers can quickly assess opportunities for improvements for your platform or website, and implement those changes in a seamless and cost-effective manner. We also offer development and consultation services to online lotto startups.
Ignite has established ourselves as experts in online gaming, from concept through coding and artwork to deployment. If you feel that offshore development might provide the solution you need, why not contact us today for a professional assessment based on your resources and objectives?