Lotteries make bright start to 2014; Q1 sales for 2014 up 8.9% on Q1 sales for 2013.
Defying expectations, lotteries made a bright start to 2014, with first-quarter on first-quarter sales increasing by 8.9%, the best opening to a new year since 2012. The growth in global lottery sales was again grounded in strong performances from the Asia Pacific and Latin American regions, with additional contributions from the North American market and, surprisingly, the European region.
Basel, 11 June 2014—Defying expectations, lotteries made a bright start to 2014, with first-quarter on first-quarter sales increasing by 8.9%, the best opening to a new year since 2012. The growth in global lottery sales was again grounded in strong performances from the Asia Pacific and Latin American regions, with additional contributions from the North American market and, surprisingly, the European region.
The Latin American region enjoyed the strongest showing of any market in Q1 2014, with participating Latin American lotteries reporting an aggregate first-quarter on first-quarter increase in sales of 24.1%. Growth in the Latin American region was once again driven by Argentina’s Lotería Nacional Sociedad del Estado. The Argentinian national lottery continued its impressive growth streak, reporting a first-quarter on first-quarter increase in sales of 31%. The growth in sales at Lotería Nacional Sociedad del Estado is attributable to a number of factors, including: modifications and improvements made to their product range, which have resulted in the provision of a better range of gaming offers to their customers; the success of a new lottery game, “Lotto con Jackpot”; and the strong performance of various concessions, among them VLTs and the bingo halls of the city of Buenos Aires. Also performing strongly was Brazil’s Caixa Econômica Federal, which recorded an increase in sales of 18% for Q1 2014 against Q1 2013. Sales growth at the Brazilian national lottery was largely driven by the success of three lotto products: Lotofácil, Mega-Sena, and Timemania. Lotofácil enjoyed record sales in January 2014, while quarter-on-quarter sales of Mega-Sena and Timemania increased dramatically owing to the large jackpots on offer in February and March 2014. A successful advertising campaign, conducted from December 2013 to March 2014, proved very helpful in promoting all three lotto games.
The Asia Pacific region also performed strongly, with participating Asia Pacific lotteries witnessing an aggregate in sales of 13.6% for the first three months of 2014, as against the first three months of 2013. Once again, the engine of growth in the Asia Pacific region was the participating mainland Chinese lotteries. The China Sports Lottery delivered a first-quarter on first-quarter increase in sales of 17.1%, with the China Welfare Lottery following on closely behind with an increase in sales of 15.6% for the period January–March 2014, as against the period January–March 2013. Across mainland China, lottery ticket sales rose 13.6%, instant lottery ticket sales rose 11%, and video lottery sales rose 25.4%, all over the January to March period, with the Guangdong, Hunan, Gansu, and Shandong provinces and the municipality of Shanghai witnessing the biggest increase in sales. Running in a strong third in the Asia Pacific market was Australia’s Lotterywest, which oversaw an increase in sales of 11.5% for Q1 2014, as opposed to Q1 2013.
In the North American market, participating North American lotteries witnessed an aggregate increase in sales of 6.6% for the first three months of 2014, as against the first three months of 2013. The upswing in the North American market was somewhat surprising, given that the U.S. economy contracted by 1% in the first quarter of 2014. Previously, the government had estimated that GDP growth would expand at the rate of 0.1 percent over the first quarter. The contraction in the U.S. economy, the first in three years, was occasioned by one of the worst winters in the U.S. in living memory, with economists estimating subsequently that the severe weather there might have cut as much as 1.5 percentage points from GDP growth. Apparently, however, lottery sales were impervious to the bad weather, with a number of lotteries across the continent seeing their sales increase quarter-on-quarter. The growth in sales in the North American region was spearheaded by the California Lottery, which saw its sales rise by 20.6% on a first-quarter on first-quarter basis. The increase in sales at the California Lottery was driven on the one hand by growth in Powerball sales—Powerball was introduced in California in April 2013—and on the other hand by the successful introduction of a new US$20 Scratchers game. Canada’s Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation also performed strongly, with sales up by 14.8% for Q1 2014 over Q1 2013. Other North American lotteries seeing their sales increase were the Kentucky lottery and the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation, which recorded first-quarter on first-quarter increases in sales of 6% and 7.5% respectively.
In Europe, sales among participating European lotteries increased by 4.2% on aggregate in the first three months of 2014, as against the first three months of 2013. This was the best quarterly performance by participating lotteries in Europe since Q1 2012, when sales grew by 4.3% quarter-on-quarter. With lottery sales in Europe having languished in mostly neutral or negative territory throughout 2013, the upswing in sales in Q1 2014 was even more notable than the corresponding upturn in sales in the U.S. The surprise increase in sales was set against the backdrop of the continuing stagnation of the European economy, where seasonally adjusted GDP rose by only 0.2% in the euro area (EA18) for the quarter and by only 0.3% in the wider EU28. Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 0.9% in the euro area (EA18) and by 1.4% in the EU28 in the first quarter of 2014, after rises of 0.5% and 1.0% respectively in the previous quarter. Participating European lotteries were able to shrug off the wider economy’s torpor, however, with several such lotteries enjoying robust quarter-on-quarter increases in sales. At Hungary’s Szerencsejáték Zrt., sales for Q1 2014 were up by 33.9% on sales for Q1 2013. Several elements contributed to the growth in sales at Szerencsejáték Zrt., including: a shift in demand to faster-paced games such as Keno and instant tickets; changes and improvements to the instant ticket product range, resulting in increased sales of instant tickets at higher price points; the launch in mid-2013 of a highly successful online betting site, TippmixPro; and the offer of a significant jackpot in Q1 2014 on a main product, Ötöslotto (5/90 lotto). In Greece, OPAP’s situation continued to improve, with sales up 11.1% quarter-on-quarter. This was the fifth consecutive quarter of growth for the Greek national lottery, even as Greece’s GDP contracted by 3.9% over the course of 2013. First-quarter on first-quarter sales increased by 6% at both Portugal’s Santa Casa and France’s Française des Jeux, while Norway’s Norsk Tipping enjoyed a first-quarter on first-quarter increase in sales of 5.2%.
The African region saw an aggregate increase in sales of 7.6% for Q1 2014 over Q1 2013. Contributing strongly to the good showing of the African region was Morocco’s La Marocaine des Jeux, which reported a first-quarter on first-quarter increase in sales of 30.3%. Growth at La Marocaine des Jeux continued to be due to the increase in sales of its Cote & Sport (Oddset) game. Building on its successful startup in 2009, the Mauritius National Lottery recorded a 15.9% increase in sales for the first three months of 2014, as against the first three months of 2013. And for its part, Ghana’s national lottery reported an increase in sales of 8.6% over the same quarter-on-quarter timeframe.
This edition of the WLA Quarterly Lottery Sales Indicator sees Hungary’s Szerencsejáték Zrt. and the Mauritius National Lottery added to the list of lotteries participating in the WLA Quarterly Lottery Sales Indicator. We extend a warm welcome to our newest members and look forward to bringing you the mid-year 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||Costa Rica: Junta de Protección Social|
|South Africa: Gidani (Proprietary) Limited||Mexico: Lotería National para la Asistencia Pública|
|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.|
|Portugal: Jogos Santa Casa|
|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|