Older than the French Revolution, even older than the Independence of the United States. The lottery is one of the games of chance with the longest tradition in Latin America. Currently, it has more than 2.5 million players in Central and South America, and its income exceeds 616 million dollars.
With more than two centuries of history in countries such as Mexico (1771) or Uruguay (1819), lottery houses have deep-rooted customs and continue to maintain their traditions. However, with technological changes and increasing competition in the gaming sector, operators are adapting their models, digitizing their processes and creating personalized experiences for players.
The growth of the online lottery
The online lottery market has experienced considerable growth in recent years, driven by the convenience and accessibility offered by digital platforms.
As the number of people going online for various day-to-day activities increases, lottery houses have taken advantage of this trend to offer a simple and user-friendly experience when it comes to purchasing lottery tickets and participating in draws.
The integration of mobile technology and secure payment options has further increased the appeal of online lottery platforms, allowing players to participate from the comfort of their homes or on the go.
In addition to traditional lottery games, the market has also benefited from the introduction of innovative offerings such as instant win games. These new formats have not only attracted a wider audience, but have also increased participation among existing players by offering a diverse range of options to suit different preferences.
The growth of the online lottery market has also been supported by favorable regulatory changes in many jurisdictions, which have recognized the potential economic benefits and have taken steps to legalize and regulate online lottery operations.
Differences between regions
Undoubtedly, the sector is growing, but not uniformly across the region. While Central America expects a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 6.36% over the next five years, in South America this metric reaches 8% over the same time period.
The lottery in Central America
Over the last 6 years, the Central American lottery has experienced a revenue increase of $2.45 million and this trend is expected to continue. In 2023, according to Statista data, revenues will reach $6.68 million and, in 2027, the figure will exceed $8 million.
In terms of players, Central America has registered an increase of 29,700 users in the last 6 years. In terms of projections, according to Statista, in 2023, the number of players will reach 60,800 and, in 2027, 84,800.
Regarding the penetration ratio, it is expected to increase from 0% in 2017 to 0.2% in 2027.
Lottery in South America
Over the last 6 years, the South American lottery has experienced an increase in revenue of $270 million and this trend is expected to continue. In 2023, according to Statista data, revenues will reach $610 million and, in 2027, the figure will exceed $830 million.
In terms of players, South America has registered an increase of 1.10 million users in the last 6 years. In terms of projections, according to Statista, in 2023, the number of players will reach 2 million and, in 2027, 2.9 million.
Regarding the penetration ratio, it is expected to increase from 0.1% in 2017 to 0.7% in 2027.
Ranking by country
Within each region, the differences are also notable, both in terms of revenue and gambling penetration.
The top three Central American countries are Mexico, El Salvador and Costa Rica. In terms of revenues for 2023, Mexico leads the ranking with more than US$465 million. It is followed by El Salvador, with $4 million, and Costa Rica, with $2.68 million. According to lottery penetration, Mexico remains at the top with 1.9%, followed by Costa Rica (1%) and El Salvador (0.1%).
The top South American countries are Argentina, Brazil, French Guiana, Colombia and Peru. According to revenues for 2023, it is the latter country that leads the ranking, with a projected revenue of more than 726 million. It is followed by Argentina, with more than 235 million, and Brazil, with 228.20 million. In terms of lottery penetration, Argentina ranks first with 1.6%, followed by French Guiana (0.9%) and Colombia and Peru (0.5%).
Adapt or be left behind: modernizing the lottery in Latin America
We have already seen it. Without a doubt, growth in the sector has been high over the past few years and is expected to remain so. However, operators still have a way to go. The convenience of digital platforms, mobile technology and secure payment systems are changing the industry, opening up new possibilities for players and lottery houses.
To avoid being left behind, operators must focus on creating an adaptable, secure and innovative gaming environment for their players. But how can they modernize, how can they stand out from their competition?
- Focusing on player accessibility and comfort.
- Personalizing their gaming experience.
- Introducing new offers and games beyond the traditional ones.
- Working on the security of your platform.
These four strategies are essential to attract and retain an increasingly digital player base.
The lottery and its digital future
Despite its promising growth trajectory, the lottery market faces a number of challenges, including the risk of problem gambling, potential cybersecurity threats and regulatory uncertainty in certain regions.
To address these concerns and ensure sustainable growth, industry stakeholders must invest in responsible gaming initiatives, adopt robust security measures and maintain open communication with regulators to ensure compliance with evolving legal frameworks.
The lottery market is well positioned for continued expansion in the coming years, provided operators, suppliers and regulators work together to foster a safe, responsible and innovative gaming environment for all participants.