The lottery business is a promising one, involving billions of dollars and employing countless people. Though individual opinions regarding lottery is biased, a study states that over 90% of American consider gambling as acceptable. Lottery is a form of gambling where payment has to be made for entry into the game. The games themselves are of various types such as tombola and raffles. The simplest games make use of the scratch card that contains a set of characters. In every game, the only deciding factor is luck.
Globally, lotteries are seen as an effective way of raising money for charity and other benefaction schemes. Some forms of lottery or the other is practiced in every region of the globe. Lotteries allow funding of various social projects. In U.S., education receives the maximum benefit of the lottery scheme. Other lotteries enable specific projects such as the building of a stadium.
The future prospects of the industry look bright, with the business promising an almost assured return. However, problems persist that needs adequate correction mechanisms.
- Illegal status: In many regions around the world lotteries are not in the realm of law. In India, the illegal lottery business is set at INR 7200 crores, a whopping $1.3 billion. Worldwide, the amount may run into exorbitant figures. Regulatory mechanisms require stricter stance, but the problem is not restricted to lottery alone. The U.S. Tourism, Trade and Industry Information services claim loss in the tune $1200 million from illegal gambling, despite lottery being regulated in the state.
- Problem gambling: This is a challenge even in the states where gambling is well regulated. The risk of addiction to gambling activities threatens to stall regulation approaches in other states. A mechanism needs to be put in place where early identification and adequate mitigation are provided. The problem is magnified when we throw into the basket the picture of underage gambling. As many as 66% of gamblers accept placing the first bets while still being at school.
- Ensuring fairness of the game: The simplest game is a lottery that involves a scratch ticket. For such games to sustain, it is essential to ensure that the drawing of lots is non influential.
The future of the lottery business can be expected to be driven by the regions where it has not been regulated yet. The India illegal gambling industry amounts to over a billion dollars. Bringing these institutions under the jurisdictions of the state can provide a much needed boost to the respective state exchequers. The South African National Lottery is a quoting example in this regard. The ‘Lotto’, as it is better known, generated over 4 billion Rands in 2011.