Lotteries worldwide enjoy robust first quarter growth; sales up by 8% quarter-on-quarter.
Lotteries worldwide enjoyed a sunny start to 2015, with all five regions of the globe reporting results firmly in positive territory. Overall, first-quarter on first-quarter sales increasing by 8% globally, with the Asia Pacific and the Latin American markets once again acting as the engines of growth.
Basel, 9 June 2015—Lotteries worldwide enjoyed a sunny start to 2015, with all five regions of the globe reporting results firmly in positive territory. Overall, first-quarter on first-quarter sales increasing by 8% globally, with the Asia Pacific and the Latin American markets once again acting as the engines of growth.
The Latin American region performed most strongly over the opening quarter of 2015, continuing on with its good form from the second half of 2014. Participating Latin American lotteries reporting an aggregate first-quarter on first-quarter increase in sales of 14.7%, slowing down from an aggregate fourth-quarter on fourth-quarter increase in sales of 24.3%. Growth in Latin America was yet again driven by Argentina’s Lotería Nacional Sociedad del Estado, which oversaw a first-quarter on first-quarter increase in sales of 23.1%. In contrast, sales at Brazil’s Caixa Econômica Federal fell over the same period, while Mexico’s Lotería National para la Asistencia Pública held steady.
Following hot on the heels of the Latin American region was the Asia Pacific market, where participating Asia Pacific lotteries reported an aggregate first-quarter on first-quarter increase in sales of 14.3%. Continuing a now familiar theme, growth in the Asia Pacific region was again driven by the China Sports Lottery and the China Welfare Lottery. The China Sports Lottery saw its sales increase by 31.5% over the first three months of 2015, as against the corresponding period of 2014, while the China Welfare Lottery saw its sales increase by 9% over the same timeframe. Across China, first-quarter on first-quarter sales of Lotto, Guess Lottery (sports betting), and VLT products were up by 10.9%, 95.2%, and 24.1% respectively. Growth was concentrated in the Shandong, Tianjin, Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Heilongjiang provinces; the province of Heilongjiang, for instance, reported 58.9% growth compared to a year earlier. Elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region, lotteries had a quieter quarter, with sales at Australia’s Lotterywest, the Hong Kong Jockey Club, and Japan’s Takara-kuji lottery all either up slightly or essentially treading water.
In Africa, participating African lotteries recorded an aggregate first-quarter on first-quarter increase in sales of 6.5%. Continuing on with its strong performance over recent months, Ghana’s National Lottery Authority saw its sales increase by 42.9% quarter-on-quarter. Lotteries in Morocco also enjoyed healthy growth, with La Marocaine des Jeux reporting a first-quarter on first-quarter increase in sales of 11.9%, and Loterie Nationale reporting a first-quarter on first-quarter increase in sales of 8.3%. In contrast, sales at the Mauritius National Lottery declined sharply over the same timeframe. Sales for the first quarter of 2015 were lower than those of the prior quarter due to lower aggregate jackpots of MUR 222 million being advertised for the quarter compared to MUR 355 million for the prior period; the prior quarter had seen a record jackpot of MUR 80 million. Moreover, the lottery was unable to execute its Quick Win (instant) games launch plan for 2015 as the Mauritian Gambling Regulatory Authority did not approve any new games; this adversely affected the sales of Quick Win games in the first quarter. Elsewhere in Africa, sales at South Africa’s Gidani rose, with the South African National Lottery overseeing a first-quarter on first-quarter increase in sales of 4.6%.
Also registering a robust performance, given the maturity of the markets there, was the North American region, where participating North American lotteries posted an aggregate first-quarter on first-quarter increase in sales of 4.7%. The results of the North American market were even more impressive given that they were set against the backdrop of a contracting U.S. economy, which witnessed a fall in real GDP of 0.7% in Q1 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis second estimate. Previously, real GDP in the U.S. had grown at the rate of 2.2% in the fourth quarter of 2014. Once again, the standout performer in the North American region was the California Lottery, which recorded a first-quarter on first-quarter increase in sales of 12.4%. Also performing strongly were the Minnesota State Lottery, which reported a first-quarter on first-quarter increase in sales of 10.1%, and the Connecticut Lottery Corporation, which saw its first-quarter on first-quarter sales rise by 7.5%. All other participating U.S. lotteries also recorded results in positive territory. This contrasted with the situation with respect to the participating Canadian lotteries, which either saw their sales decline or hold steady.
Despite the improving European economy – Eurostat reported that seasonally adjusted GDP rose over Q1 2015 by 0.4% across both the euro area (EA18 countries) and the EU28 countries – the picture for lotteries in Europe in the first quarter of 2015 was more nuanced. Central European lotteries, including the Czech Republic’s SAZKA a.s., Poland’s Totalizator Sportowy, and Hungary’s Szerencsejáték Zrt., all fared best, reporting first-quarter on first-quarter increases in sales of 25.4%, 24.9%, and 18.5% respectively. The increase in sales as SAZKA a.s. was due in large measure to the sales of the Eurojackpot block game, which was introduced at SAZKA a.s. in the fourth quarter of 2014. The Czech Republic lottery also experienced slight sales increases in its flagship Sportka lotto game and in sales of instants, while Internet sports betting sales also rose 35% quarter-on-quarter. At Hungary’s Szerencsejáték Zrt., the increase in sales was attributable in part to the upsurge in sales occasioned by a large jackpot on 5/90 lotto (Ötöslottó); moreover, this surge in sales pulled up the performance of other secondary lotto games as well. Meanwhile, sales at Greece’s OPAP continued to strengthen, with first-quarter on first-quarter revenues growing by 15.8% on the back of core games resilience and contributions from the Hellenic Lotteries. This marked the seventh consecutive quarter of growth in sales at OPAP, defying the continuing economic turmoil in Greece. Also in the black was France’s Française des Jeux, where sales were up by 6.4% first-quarter on first-quarter. Offsetting the positive results of many European jurisdictions, however, was the performance of Europe’s largest lottery, Lottomatica, where sales dipped for the period January-March 2015, as against the period January-March 2014; this had the effect of pulling results for Europe down as a whole. Sales as Sweden’s Svenska spell also eased slightly over the same timeframe.
The WLA will continue to track the progress of global lottery sales in future editions of the WLA QLSI. Once again we thank all WLA member lotteries participating in this initiative, and look forward to bringing you the second quarter 2015 results shortly.
WLA Executive Director
|* Based on sales of participating lotteries. Participating lotteries by region:|
|Ghana: National Lottery Authority||Argentina: Lotería Nacional Sociedad del Estado|
|Mauritius: Mauritius National Lottery||Brazil: Caixa Econômica Federal|
|Morocco: La Marocaine des Jeux et des Sports||Chile: Polla Chilena de Beneficencia|
|Morocco: Loterie Nationale||Mexico: Lotería National para la Asistencia Pública|
|South Africa: Gidani (Proprietary) Limited|
|Asia Pacific||North America|
|Australia: Lotterywest||Canada: Loto-Québec|
|China: China Sports Lottery||Canada: Ontario Lottery|
|China: Chinese Welfare Lottery||USA: California Lottery|
|Hong Kong: HKJC||USA: Connecticut Lottery Corporation|
|Japan: Mizuho Bank Ltd.||USA: Kentucky Lottery Corporation|
|Europe||USA: Minnesota State Lottery|
|Czech Republic: SAZKA sázková kancelář, a.s.||USA: New York State Lottery|
|Finland: Veikkaus Oy||USA: Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation|
|France: Francaise des Jeux|
|Hungary: Szerencsejáték Zrt.|
|Italy: Lottomatica S.p.A|
|Norway: Norsk Tipping AS|
|Poland: Totalizator Sportowy Sp. z o.o.|
|Spain: Loterías y Apuestas del Estado|
|Spain: Organización Nacional de Ciegos Españoles|
|Sweden: AB Svenska Spel|
|Switerland: La Loterie Romande|
|United Kingdom: Camelot UK Lotteries Limited|