GODDIE OFOSE, Lagos
Nigerian economy has continued to hemorrhage, as facts have emerged that the operators of lottery business in Nigeria annually spend an average of N25 billion to acquire, deploy and maintain lottery technology.
Disclosing this in Lagos, Managing Director and CEO of Lotgrand – operator of Grandlotto Yellow Terminal brand – Niyi Adekunle whose company has revolutionized the lotto business in Nigeria with the Machine Number Series (MNS), said that lottery has emerged as one of the most popular forms of gaming in the world.
“We can save huge foreign exchange for the benefit of the economy if our technology sector can support our business with the right technology software and hardware,” he opined.
According to the owner and operator of Grandlotto Yellow Terminal brand, technology hardware component alone constitutes 40 per cent of lottery operators’ technology spends. “Payment for the acquisition of software licenses and support services constitute another 20 and 40 percent of our annual technology budget spends respectively,” he explained.
He explained that the game has more followers than online casino and “it is easy to play”. Lotteries are extremely thrilling, and “promise players good profit”. As such, lottery operators strive to make these games even more fun by utilising technology.
Amid a highly competitive digital landscape in the lottery industry in the country, Adekunle projected that the operators’ annual spends on technology would witness an exponential increment in 2017.
“I see more players in the industry spending huge on instant game inventory management systems, lottery gaming systems, retail point-of-sale technology, mobile apps, USSD platform, data and communications links and internet platforms,” he added.
While forecasting the growth rates in mobile lotteries sales in 2017, he said smart operators are now adopting the USSD codes to attract new set of target market and obtain a higher percentage of infrequent players and net new audience.
He challenged indigenous IT players to focus their innovations on the lottery industry and compete for a big chunk of the market share so that the local economy can reap from the hyper growth of the lottery industry.
He lamented that with the country’s high level of sophistication and global view, the country has remained “net importer of lottery technologies”.
Recently, through its MNS, the company paid a bonus of over N100 million to a lotto player from Ijebu Ode in Ogun State. The MNS has become a differentiating factor for the brand though the use of technology.