Evidence of lotteries in human history date back as far as the construction of the Great Wall of China. Augustus Caesar organised a lottery to maintain the upkeep of Rome, with captured treasure on offer as prizes. In fact, for much of the history of the lottery, from ancient times up to the present day, very little has changed. However, the launch of online lottery company Lottoland in 2013 heralded a change in how lotteries are conducted.
Lottoland is a Gibraltar-based company which was set up with the intention of shaking up the moribund lottery industry. Traditionally, a lottery would be run and operated on a national or regional level, with tickets only available for purchase within the area in question. This meant that in many areas the lottery operator was effectively running a monopoly, free to adjust price levels and prizes as they saw fit. Lottoland arrived with the intention of removing barriers and in the process making the industry far more competitive, while offering the consumer a greater range of options.
Of course this has led to Lottoland being called a ‘disruptor’ by the established lottery providers, and there is certainly no doubt that this new arrival has disrupted the status quo. Lottoland allows customers to bet on lotteries from around the world, and is able to match the top jackpots on offer from these lotteries by utilising what is called insurance-linked securities. Previously used to insure against rare but expensive phenomena such as natural disasters, these insurance policies are used by Lottoland to pay winnings which can range into hundreds of millions from giant lotteries such as Powerball, EuroMillions and MegaMillions.
There are currently around 30 international lotteries available from Lottoland which members can bet on. They are even able to offer special features such as double jackpots, where you can choose to try and win an amount equal to twice the actual lottery jackpot, and they have frozen the price of a EuroMillions bet at the old price of £2 per line. The Gibraltar company have also started to offer a range of instant win games, online scratchcards and casino games on their site, to provide a more comprehensive gaming experience. Lottoland are forcing existing operators to look again at how they have been doing business for so long, and this lottery ‘disruptor’ doesn’t look like going anywhere soon.