Public Gaming International Magazine May June 2023

44 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • MAY/JUNE 2023 PULSE of the Industry These news stories comprise a very small fraction of the gaming and lottery news stories posted every day to Too, these stories are the highly edited short versions. You can visit our news website and access all of its departments for free, including search to read the full version of the articles. Sign up for our free e-newsletter by sending your e-mail address to WORLD NEWS WLA BLOG: Lotteries and sports betting operators emerge largely unscathed from pandemic After a tumultuous three years, the world's state-regulated lottery and sports betting operators have emerged largely intact from the depredations of the COVID-19 pandemic. In FY 2022, revenues increased across the sector by approximately 10% over the previous corresponding period, with gains made on the return to retail and strong one-o sporting events in particular. World progressively relaxes COVID-19 restrictions in a return to pre-pandemic normality. IMF estimates global real GDP growth of 3.4% for 2022 with in ation rising to 8.8%, giving rise to di cult macroeconomic conditions into Q1 2023. Lotteries build on 2021 recovery from the pandemic with H2GC estimating 10.1% growth in lottery and sports betting revenues for 2022. Return to retail, one-o sporting events, and strong growth in the digital channel power lottery and sports betting bounce back. H2GC is now projecting total global gross win (land-based plus interactive) to surpass pre-pandemic levels by end 2023. In our continuing coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the global lottery and sports betting industry, we report on the global transition to living with the virus in a new normal and the concomitant response of the global lottery and sports betting industry. ree years into the pandemic, the lottery and sports betting sector has emerged relatively unscathed from the global tumult caused by COVID-19. Despite lockdowns that severely impacted retail footfall and an absence of sporting xtures that a icted sports betting opportunities, both at the beginning of the pandemic, the sector rebounded in 2021, moving aggressively to online, optimizing retail sales channels otherwise, and innovating game content through new product launches and via the additions of extras and sundries to existing brands. In 2022, with the worst of the pandemic apparently in the rear view mirror, the industry has gone from strength to strength. Indeed, for lottery and sports betting operators reported upon in this bulletin, sales have increased by approximately 8.6% yearon-year, as summarized for selected entities in Table 1. Table 1. Year-on-year results for selected lotteries and sports betting operators reporting in this bulletin. Key drivers leading to the positive results for the sector include: e easing of pandemic restrictions worldwide, which has resulted in increased footfall across retail globally, which has in turn driven retail network sales and a recovery in land-based gaming more generally. e one-o events UEFA 2020 European Championships (held in 2021) and the 2022 FIFA World Cup have led to big one-o increases in sports betting, especially in China. e continued growth of the digital channel globally, driven by the response to the pandemic on the one hand, by the development of immersive betting applications and the increasing convenience of gaming on mobile devices, together with the ongoing liberalization of sports betting worldwide, most notably in the US. In consequence, for the nancial year 21/22 or calendar year 2022, most state-regulated lotteries and sports betting operators have enjoyed substantial growth, sometimes to record levels of lottery sales. In jurisdictions where sales have declined year-on-year, this has been a consequence of local conditions rather than any general industry downturn. Further, modulo some exceptions, the in ationary pressures and di cult macroeconomic conditions witnessed towards the end of 2022 have not yet impacted the industry signi cantly. In the sequel, we take a closer look at the above for some of the world’s major lottery and sports betting entities (and a smattering of smaller operators) across Africa, Asia Paci c, Europe, and Latin America, setting their operations and pandemic response in the context of current local conditions. For North America, where the state-based system gives rise to many operators, we consider several individual state-regulated lotteries, and make some comments on the market as a whole, highlighting sports betting operations in particular. Australian gamblers to be banned from using credit cards for online betting -except lotteries: “Lotteries present a low-risk to gambling harm” Labor’s proposal would omit lotteries from the ban, including those o ered by charities, because “they present a low-risk to gambling harm”. e changes will implement recommendations of a parliamentary inquiry from 2021, which called for the ban, a trend estimated to make up to 20% of deposits into wagering accounts. “People should not be betting with money they do not have,” the communications minister, Michelle Rowland, said. In an announcement to be made on Friday, Rowland and social the services minister, Amanda Rishworth, will bring online gambling into line with “land-based gambling”, which already limits the use of credit cards. e exact mechanism and technical implementation will be decided through consultation with stakeholders, but the government plans to use Bank Identi cation Numbers (BINs) used to identify and block credit card payments. is would bar credit card numbers from being used to deposit funds into betting accounts.