The most important benefit online lottery offers over paper lottery is the transparency and credibility. Process of choosing winners is transparent to all lottery players which improves player confidence and trust encouraging people to participate in lottery games.
Major benefits offered by online lottery over paper lottery are:
Saving on Operational Overheads:
A state wide lottery operations would have a minimum of 8000 to 10000 selling agents or retailers. A paper lottery operations require collection of tickets from each of these retailers, centralizing the tickets, going thru each one of the tickets to find the winnings and then pay back the winning amount to the retailer. This process requires large man power and takes lot of time to complete the processing of the draw.
Typically, a State wide Paper Lottery operator would engage a minimum of 300 people to achieve this task. Even with such a large man power strength, they would take anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 weeks to complete the processing of a single draw. This delay in processing leads to various types of issues in the field.
- Customer does not get paid in time. So they do not have money to invest back in buying new lottery ticket. This is a loss of business.
- Delay in pay out always result in loss of trust. A gaming operations rely on trust and timely payout for long term success.
- The retailer end up discounting the ticket. Since the customer and the retailer know the draw number, the retailers “buy” the winning ticket from customer and pay them a much lower winnings. Customers who are in need of the money usually agree to these deals and take whatever they get. The retailer then claim the winnings and make neat profit.
Automated centralized operations:
The online lottery system is essentially a computer based self-operating system without any interference of any nature by any person in the operation thereof. There is a Central Transactional System (CTS) which is connected via various telecom / network companies in India to various retailers. At the retailers end there is a terminal which is connected by the above mentioned connectivity with the CTS which is installed at a data center in a highly secured environment.
The Paper Lottery on the other hand is totally manually operated where a fixed number of tickets are printed by the Government and sold through the stockiest/ distributors who in turn sell it in smaller lots to retailers.
Control over lottery ticket sales:
Online Lotteries can be sold only through specific outlets connected to the CTS. There is no limit on the number of tickets to be sold and the purchaser has an unlimited choice to either choose numbers of his choice or opt for the Lucky Pick facility wherein the computer would select random numbers for the player.
In Paper Lottery, the tickets are sold in lottery shops and street corners. Although there is a defined number of tickets to be sold per draw as directed by the Government there is no possibility of any control after the tickets are sold to the stockiest/distributors and there is a possibility of printing of duplicate tickets being sold in the market, which results in a loss of revenue to the Government.
Fair lottery draw practices:
1The time of commencement of the draw is prefixed and duly announced to the public in case of both types of lotteries. However, in case of Online Lotteries, just before the time of the draw, the sales are automatically disabled on all terminals simultaneously by the CTS which forthwith generate the data in respect of the total the number of tickets sold and the last number of the ticket sold for that draw. The draws are conducted only on tickets actually sold.
The kind of control or facility is not possible in case of paper lotteries where it is likely that sales would continue even after the draw. Therefore, in the case of paper lotteries, the draws are also conducted on unsold tickets which gives rise to unfair practices and therefore is not in the interest of the genuine lottery players.
The draws in respect of both kind of lotteries is conducted in the presence of a panel of judges appointed by the Government. However, in respect of Online Lotteries, there are elaborate pre-draw, draw and post-draw processes, in line with international practices including an Audit. The draws are audited to ensure their authenticity.
In case of paper lotteries, there is no concurrent audit of results nor do they have any pre-draw or post-draw processes and hence are prone to any kind of tampering.
Winning Ticket Validations:
In case of Online Lotteries as soon as the auditor confirms the number of winning tickets, the same are declared and are simultaneously flashed on each terminals at the retailer’s end. The purchaser of the ticket can produce his winning ticket at any terminal irrespective of, from where he has purchased his ticket to redeem his prize. The winning ticket is fed in the terminal via a scanned and the data is transmitted to the CTS. This data gets verified at the CTS and if it is the genuine winning ticket the CTS would confirm payment back to the retailer’s terminal. This validation/verification of winning tickets, which is entirely through an encoded computer system, takes not more than few seconds without any personal intervention.
In case of Paper Lotteries, this kind of facility is not there and hence accounting for claimed and unclaimed prizes cannot be controlled.
Real time data, Reporting & Game Integrity:
Online Lottery system provides all the necessary data of the tickets sold, the prizes declared as winning combination in a draw, the number of tickets purchased, the winning prizes, the number of prizes claimed and the balance unclaimed amounts for each draw. Government has access to all these data, in real-time via a secure interface to the CTS reporting system. Thus at any given point of time a check can be carried out by the Government.
The system has in built controls against both the external and internal fraud attempts. Moreover, the integrity of the system is of such high order that the agent would never be able to indulge in under reporting of revenue. There is no possibility to modify the accounting data in the terminal. Retailer accounts are reconciled game-wise at the end of each day, with the sales files and transaction details stored in the System. This avoids tampering of sales transaction information.
These facilities are not available in paper lotteries and under-reporting of sales and unclaimed prizes go unnoticed as it is impossible for having any manual control on an operation which is done in a totally unorganized fashion. And hence the system is prone to defrauding the Government as well as the lottery playing public.