What is a Lottery?

Lotteries are a form of gambling where the result is determined by a random drawing of a number or set of numbers. Often, lotteries are used to raise funds for charitable or other organizations, including various levels of government. The portion of the funds that is not given over to an organization is considered the prize pool. Participants contribute to the prize pool in exchange for a ticket which corresponds to one of the numbers that could potentially be drawn. The winnings are either given to a single winner or distributed amongst all winners.

Of all forms of gambling, lotteries have one of the cleanest reputations. There is a widely-held perception that lottery results are nearly impossible to tamper with, leading to a high level of trust.

Advantages of Online Lotteries

Lotteries have been conducted online since the earliest days of online gambling. There are several advantages to online lotteries.


Increased availability has the same benefit for online lotteries that it does for other forms of online gambling. With online lotteries, players can buy a ticket 24/7 from anywhere in the world instead of having to adhere to betting shop hours.


Especially with the rise of mobile devices as the key method of placing bets, online lotteries have a massive advantage over land-based ones when it comes to convenience. Instead of having to go to a betting shop or other location, now bettors can buy tickets from home at a time of their choosing - or from anywhere else, given the rise of mobile devices as the primary method of gambling.


Some experienced players prefer to choose their numbers not at random, but based on an analysis of statistical data - data that’s only available through online lotteries. After examining the history of a chosen lottery’s results, players can see which numbers win the most often, which ones win the least often, and which ones never win at all.


Online lotteries allow participants to keep track of the prize fund in real time, meaning they can see how much and how fast the jackpot is growing. Also, in the case of live dealer lotteries, players can watch the drawing live, providing visual proof of fairness.


Online lotteries offer the potential to reach a far wider range of players than land-based lotteries. They can reach across international borders and bring in players from a wider range of communities, creating a much bigger pool of players to draw on.

Analysis of the Lottery Market Growth Worldwide

The global market share of online gambling has been growing slowly but steadily. According to data from the WLA, the total growth of lottery ticket sales worldwide in the first quarter of 2017, both online and offline, was only 0.9% when compared to the same period from the previous year.

According to the WLA, in the first quarter of 2017:

  • Lottery sales in Africa rose by 9.4%
  • Lottery sales in the Asia Pacific rose by 5.4%
  • Lottery sales in Europe decreased by 0.9%
  • Lottery sales in Latin America rose by 5.8%
  • Lottery sales in North America decreased by 7.2%

These figures indicate growth in some areas but not in others. North America and Europe both saw slight decreases in lottery sales, whereas emerging markets in Asia, Africa, and Latin America all saw increases. This is important to keep in mind when considering which markets an online casino will face and which betting services it will offer.

Types of Lotteries


In Bingo, players are given a card that consists of a randomized set of numbers. Numbers are drawn at random, and if they correspond to the numbers on a player’s card, the player can mark them off. Players win by stringing together sets of numbers either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

Rules can vary as to the number of “balls” that can be drawn and the number of cards players are allowed to have. Operators can also provide additional features like additional bonuses and prize cards.


Keno is similar to Bingo in the key aspect of gameplay, wherein “balls” with numbers on them are drawn at random and players hope they correspond to the numbers on their card. However, unlike in Bingo, in Keno players choose and write their own numbers on their cards. Developers often offer a variety of Keno games with different themes and features.

As winning hinges on the quantity of correctly guessed numbers, there is incentive for players to make their predictions based on careful analysis of statistics and probability.

Instant Lottery

Instant lotteries are very simple to play. Tickets are sold, either through online vending machines or another device, and players discover immediately whether they have won or not. The format is basically a digital version of traditional scratch tickets.

Lottery Legislation

While the internet does erase borders, it’s important to keep in mind that the legislation concerning lotteries varies by country. A very high number of countries allow lotteries, as they can prevent fraud, ensure fairness, and gain some revenues.

In Europe, only state lotteries are allowed. If a private company or organization wants to hold a lottery, they are required to have the appropriate license.

In Russia and other Eastern European countries, only the state or a very limited number of state-run enterprises can organize lotteries.

In mainland China, the lottery is not considered by the government to be a form of gambling. The most popular lotteries, the Welfare Lottery and the Sports Lottery, were established in 1987 and 1994.

In Canada, lottery laws vary by province, and the situation is similar in the United States, where nearly all states offer some form of lottery. There are also several nationwide lotteries.

Lotteries are legal in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.

A number of countries across Africa allow for lotteries, including the three largest gambling market - South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya.


Lotteries have been practiced since at least ancient times. It’s also the most commonly regulated form of gambling, as many countries that otherwise prohibit gambling still allow for lotteries. Lotteries have the particular allure of potentially winning a massive, life-changing jackpot.