Lotto products aim to attract younger players

Lotto New Zealand is making a play towards a younger demographic by launching a new smartphone app and a new gambling product this year.

Sales of Lotto products, including Lotto, Big Wednesday and Instant Kiwi, was expected to exceed $1 billion for 2013-14, higher than Restaurant Brands and the Briscoes Group's sales combined.

The Crown entity, in a briefing paper for new Minister of Internal Affairs Peter Dunne, noted its steady growth path over the past decade.

Lotto NZ said the demographic makeup was ''skewed towards the middle-aged and older; 70% of our players are aged 45-plus''.

''In order to keep growing, we need to make our business more relevant to a slightly younger demographic.''

The briefing paper said technology, particularly smartphones, had rapidly changed the business environment.

Online sales accounted for 7% of sales and were growing, with traditional retail under pressure and ''the trend for customers to increasingly purchase online will likely change the balance of our business quite dramatically''.

Lotto NZ was also planning to introduce a smartphone ticket checker app, and a new numbers game called ''Play 3''.

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