he Israeli website, Thelotter.com, resells lottery tickets from various countries to customers living around the globe, charging a significant markup: no less than 300% in the Oregon case. The winning ticket was originally bought by an employee of The Lotter at a deli in Bend, Oregon.
While noteworthy in itself, this case also perfectly illustrates that the ongoing digital transformation has created a demand – unforeseen by regulators and current legislation – for lottery tickets offering large jackpots in territories that are currently underserved, such as Iraq.
While there is no substitution taking place (there is no official lottery in Iraq), this case does raise questions, for instance with regard to the role of middlemen unconnected to the actual lotteries. Is this the way the industry should go?
Besides unauthorized resellers, bet-on-lottery operators are also profiting from the global demand to “participate” in lotteries with large jackpots. One such operator, Gibraltar-based Lottoland for instance, has grown since its inception in 2013 to more than 130 staffers, two million customers and approximately 200,000 daily players – most likely individuals that traditional lotteries are no longer reaching.