You’re just back from work, “collapse” into your favourite armchair, turn on the TV, and
the lead news article announces the latest winner of the mega-super-dupa lottery, with a record jackpot of €109,476,294.04.
You’re glued to the screen, inhaling the winners’ adrenalin and superimposing your name on the 2 meter cheque it took both of Mr and Mrs “It will never change our lives”, to hold.
But how do you feel? Happy for the winners? Definitely. Anything else? A little jealous, maybe? Come on, be honest!
Of course, if you’d have bought a ticket for the same draw of the same lottery, you’d have had the same chance of winning as the dynamic duo, currently being interviewed, surrounded by glitz, on your 32” (must upgrade to 42” one day) LG TV.
So what’s there to be jealous about?
Mr and Mrs “It will never change our lives” just resigned from their mundane jobs, but you have to be back behind your desk, by 8:35am tomorrow, or they’ll take it off your wages, and you’ll have your spouse or the electricity bill to contend with.
“If only I could have bought a lottery ticket, it could have been me drinking champagne tomorrow, instead of the sludge secreted from the works’ excuse for a drinks machine.”
But you don’t live in the same country as the mega-supa-dupa lottery, so you couldn’t buy a ticket, so you couldn’t win. So, it’s work for you, tomorrow, mate, and a 32” TV to greet you when you get home.
Of course, you could have flown to the lottery’s country to buy a ticket at the airport, get the next flight home, and still make it work for 8:32am, assuming the traffic lights at the end of “Loser Street” are working OK. But €768 (cheapest price from “mycheapestflighttobuyalotteryticket.com”) isn’t a good bet to buy a €2 lottery ticket that has a 24.1 zillion to 1 chance of winning the big prize. Well, once, for the fun of it, and perhaps to tell your grandchildren one day, maybe, but not weekly.
Enter the “Lottery Messenger” industry
Wherever you are in the world, from your home or work PC, (Yes, you Mac guys can play too!), simply jump to one of the many trusted Lottery Messenger websites, buy the same €2 ticket for say, €4, and let the Lottery Messenger company send its local agents to the standard lottery ticket retail outlets (shops, kiosks, supermarkets, etc) and buy the tickets for you. Yep, you pay a little more than face value, but remembering the alternative, a €768 plane ticket, it’s a pretty good deal. Oh yeah, a few more clicks and you’re setup for automatically buying tickets for future draws, for a month, or 3 months, or until you say “stop”, or maybe, just maybe, until you become Mr or Mrs “It will never change our lives”.
Yes, it’s 100% legal. And what’s more, every ticket bought via the Lottery Messenger industry boosts the jackpot, and boosts the lottery’s donations to charities in exactly the same way as a ticket bought by a local resident. It’s just another ticket purchased. So, even the locals; the lottery players who buy tickets from the newsagent down the road; benefit from the Lottery Messenger industry.
Next question? So, “Why haven’t you ever heard of the Lottery Messenger industry?” Probably because it’s still in it’s relatively embryonic phase of growth, albeit already very respectable in size.
It took a while for eCommerce to become known and trusted, but who hasn’t heard of it now? Online gaming grew naturally with the birth and acceptance of the internet. With adverts plastered everywhere on the internet, buses, taxis, billboards, soccer stadiums, etc, it’s become as visible as the air that we breath. (Err, you know what I mean).
The secret’s in marketing, marketing, marketing. Marketing triggers accelerated new industry growth. The levels of investment for marketing for the Lottery Messenger industry quite simply haven’t yet hit a critical mass.
A Compelling Need
But there’s more to a paradigm shift than marketing. There has to be a compelling need.
For eCommerce, the local shop was ‘replaced’ by a global shopping mall, enabling the consumer to choose from more products and at more competitive prices.
For gaming, millions of people who wanted to gamble but couldn’t (not near a casino, don’t want to invest the time to go to a casino, don’t want to be seen dead in a casino, etc) were enabled by the flood of online gaming companies that allowed them to gamble from home or work, and more recently whilst mobile.
So back to lotteries, don’t be offended, but we are a greedy species. Look how many people voluntarily buy lottery tickets every day around the world, and the numbers speak for themselves. You didn’t? So I’ll either exclude you from the “greedy” label, or it’s because you couldn’t, because you live in a different country from where the lottery tickets are sold.
So, if you enable all the (greedy) people around the world, who don’t want to clock in for work by 8:35am tomorrow, to buy lottery tickets online, from wherever they happen to be on the planet, you’re offering the masses perhaps the only option they will ever have to become financially independent (fancy talk for “rich”). If you then support the initiative with growing marketing funds, (more people will know about it), the industry will grow, exponentially.
‘Company horses’ or ‘company cars’?
There. Now you have the opportunity to get on a train that’s going to a very desirable location.
But there’s more. Money does funny things to people. In this context, I’m referring to the companies that create and operate the Lottery Messenger businesses. The websites that take your money, let you choose your numbers (probably in reverse order, but let’s not split hairs), buy the tickets, scan them, store them associated with your name, inform the winners, and most importantly, pay the winners what’s due. There’s a lot of opportunity for temptation here. “At 24.1 zillion to 1 chance for Mr Jones winning the jackpot, why should I even bother buying the lottery ticket?”.
Let’s not be shocked here. The eCommerce industry has its fair share of businesses selling salt as sugar. The online gaming industry has its fair share of cowboys, parking their company horse outside their offshore offices. So why should the Lottery Messenger industry be any different?
Regulation, regulation, regulation. That’s what “sorted out the men from the boys” in the gaming industry.
Regulation, regulation, regulation. That’s what legitimized the Forex industry and is now doing the same for the Binary Options industry.
So, the writing is on the wall. As the Lottery Messenger industry grows, you can expect to see regulation playing a far more important part, helping to replace the company horses with company cars.
Proprietary ‘vs’ B2B
And what about the technology? The black box that lets you buy remote Lottery tickets, online? The industry grew from proprietary software platforms. Or in other words, every Lottery Messenger operator developed its own, bespoke proprietary platform.
One clear sign of the imminent growth of the Lottery Messenger industry is the emergence of B2B platforms. If you want to open your own Lottery Messenger business tomorrow, you no longer need to start from scratch, designing and writing the software for the Lottery Messenger website. On the contrary, you approach one of the companies offering you to use their platform, painted in your colours, with your logos, your look and feel etc. Yes, they’ll take a percentage of your revenues, but there again, you no longer need to invest in writing, maintaining and hosting your own platform, and nor will you lose 6 months in doing so.
B2B is no surprise. It’s a natural progression, as has happened with eCommerce, Gaming, Forex and Binary Options. “Inevitable” would be a more accurate word.
Back to the future
Today, April 2014, there are a small number of large, established Lottery Messenger operators, all offering services from their own technology platforms. At the other end of the scale, many new Lottery Messenger companies, driven by internet experienced owners and management, are being born. Many of the new entrants are designing efficient, technology driven processes, that could be more profitable than some of the legacy giants, that developed more manual processes a decade ago, as there was nothing better available at that time.
In 2 years time, there’s a good chance the industry will have grown exponentially. B2B platforms will lower the barriers to entry for entrepreneurs that were educated in the gaming, eCommerce and other industries, and are looking for their next challenge. Individuals and companies that have made their money in the gaming, Forex and Binary Options industries will recognize Lottery Messenger as a new high potential investment, and will plough marketing funds into it, for the good of the industry. And you can expect a growth in operators using the insurance model, where they insure themselves against jackpot wins instead of buying the tickets, and do so under a gaming license.
All of the above will follow the pattern of history, both wanting and needing to move towards regulation, to differentiate themselves from the segment of operators that will continue to park their company horses in the British Virgin Islands.
The Israel Connection
OK, an interesting article, perhaps? But what’s it doing, sitting in the Blogs section of the Times of Israel?
Boasting the second largest number of startups on the planet, Israel is already the nerve center of both thought leadership and of several global industries, including gaming, binary options, Forex and security.
Well, surprise, surprise. You can add Lottery Messenger to the list!
In addition to boasting one of the industry’s largest and most respected Lottery Messenger brands, Israel is already the “breeding ground” for the next generation of Lottery Messenger startups, including B2B platforms, led and staffed by internet savvy personal who mostly “broke their teeth” in helping build the gaming, Forex and binary options industries. They bring to the new party, exceptional marketing skills, R&D know how, and a rolodex that would probably just about squeeze into the largest memory capacity cellphones.
Israelis know how to build operations, and also how to get them operational whilst somewhere in the the colder, darker distant corners of our planet, the competition is still specifying and designing their websites.
And just in case any competitors try to work at “Israeli speed” (not a drug name, and no connection to “Breaking Bad”), Israelis know how to accelerate into a new market with the silence of a Mossad operation in Lotterysvakia, grabbing market share before many have even realised there’s a market.
Driving the Lottery Messenger industry from the sun
So, with all this initiative, tenacity and “do it” culture, it’s probably not a surprise that the first ever Lottery Messenger industry’s conference will be held in Tel-Aviv, Israel, on 20th May.
Israeli’s also know how to act as magnets. Lottery Messenger operators from 13 countries, including from the USA, Uruguay, Canada, Europe and more, will fly to Israel for just 1 day, specifically to attend the invitation only, Global Lottery Messenger Forum.
A best in class industry panel, C-level speakers, and representatives of the Isle of Man Department of Economic Development and Gambling Supervision Commission, promoting the soon to be needed regulatory solutions, will together become the catalyst for new industry initiatives, knowledge, relationships, partnerships and growth.
About the Author
Stuart Ballan, MBA, is a businessman, writer, published children’s book author, father, and an avid off-road cyclist.
He is also Head of Middle East for Counting House Ltd, a Canadian company, 20 years in the payment processing industry, where he’s responsible for the company’s global Lottery Messenger activities, and more. It’s in this capacity that he’s bringing the Lottery Messenger industry together for the first time, on 20th May, at the Hilton Hotel, Tel-Aviv.
Manx Radio’s editor, Marian Kenny, recently interviewed Stuart Ballan on the event. The broadcast can be heard here.
Stuart can be contacted at StuartBallan@gmail.com