A primer for Lottery startup

Lottery is probably the oldest form of raising money for good causes. The Great Wall of China is probably the oldest known project financed by the lottery profits.  Lottery business involves many moving parts like any other business, but there are a few learnings specific to the lottery industry.  However, the foremost difference is that almost all the lotteries have a good cause to fulfill from the profit, that is used for the betterment of people.  The leading example is UK health lottery’s significant contribution to the local health-related causes.

The beginning

LocusPlay Mobile LotteryIn majority of the cases, lottery jurisdictions are regulated by govt. or govt. appointed entity.  A business that is planning to offer a lottery is required to secure a license.  A lottery start-up can start the operations only after securing a proper license.  In some cases, the design of lottery games is also required in the lottery license application.  It is a good idea to complete the lottery game strategy prior to commencing the operations.  It is also important to generate interest among the players.  Around 2-3 months prior to launch is a good lead time for marketing activities.

The research

It is important for lotteries to identify the target audience from the pool of players.  They can be categorized based on various factors like Age, Gender, Occupation, Income etc.  Once the target group is identified as an initial pool of potential players, the lottery games can be designed accordingly.

The build-up

Once the research is in place and lottery game designs are complete, the marketing team can swing into action to prepare a plan for the first few weeks and review the impact of the campaign.  It is important to keep the initial campaign as tight as possible in terms of time and budget to make the feedback loop effective.

The tools

As they say, it is also important to find the right tools for the right job.  The jobs include lottery operations, marketing, and finance at the bare minimum.  All of these groups might need different technologies to work effectively.  It is advisable to run a couple of pilots with the selected tools to do away with surprises during the full-scale operations.  With the abundance of technology choices, it is not a good idea not to use these tools and rely on pen-and-paper operations or traditional pre-printed tickets as it significantly limits the business sustenance due to widely known security and scalability issues.

The partners

It is important to identify and secure partnership with various service providers.  The lottery business does need the help of various service providers including financial service providers like bank, cellular operator, hardware provider to keep servers and databases, a technology provider that helps in minimizing infrastructure cost and increase profits, retail partners.  Lottery should forge a relationship with these partners in a timely manner.

The finance

Based on all the above factors, the budget required can be calculated.  Once the number is derived, the lottery can pursue various means to arrange the required financing to ensure the smooth operations.


A lottery has to analyze the basic needs in the target jurisdiction with a lot of emphasis on the legal facet.  A successful demonstration of meeting the good cause could be a primary driver for the business.  A lottery also needs to implement a framework to keep minors away from gambling in the true spirit of Corporate Social Responsibility.  With all these considerations, a lottery can start smooth operations with more social acceptability among players.