The Mexican state owned lottery organisation: La Lotería Nacional para la Asistencia Pública (LOTENAL) has recorded sales of $5,466m (around US$283m) in 2017, driven largely by the introduction of new sales channels according to the Mexican Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP).
The annual amount is higher by $26m (US$1.3m) compared to 2016, according to the SHCP in its latest report.
“Throughout 2017, several strategies were carried out aimed at establishing new sales channels with the use of technological alternatives,” the document explained.
Sales via electronic means exceeded $464m (US$24m) in 2017 according to the report. In addition, in 2017 LOTENAL introduced a free mobile app whereby customers could verify their results via QR codes allowing players to use their Smartphones to check whether they had won. Last year, the institution ran 189 lotteries each with its own design based on well-known organisations, foundations, prominent figures and government entities.
In addition, the agency conducted two market studies to determine the needs and preferences of the public, which led to the detection of a number of new niches in the market. The lottery also imposed 14 additional security measures in order to prevent fraud.
The news comes as further evidence that the lottery is finally making strides in modernising and meeting the needs of the market. In 2015, Mexico’s Chief Audit Office confirmed that LOTENAL was in a state of growing crisis, since the lottery had stopped making donations to public charities and was dependent on government money so that it could remain afloat and even pay out prizes in some cases. Indeed the outlook was bleak indeed, as the audit calculated that the lottery had recorded a deficit of US$100m in 2015 alone. As a result the Audit Office advised that the Executive branch dissolve the lottery altogether because it had failed to comply with its mandate, which was to raise money for charitable causes.
However, the government is seeking another solution and rather than scrapping the lottery altogether the government is looking at eventually merging LOTENAL with the other lottery in Mexico: La Pronósticos para la Asistencia Pública (known more commonly as Pronósticos).
The sales for Pronósticos are higher and its sales network is much more advanced than LOTENAL. In September 2016 the government introduced the “Cachito Electrónico” an electronic point of sales in both LOTENAL and Pronósticos outlets which would lead to a new stage for both lotteries as it would herald in an aggressive new marketing campaign designed specifically to attract younger players who do not usually buy traditional lottery tickets.
The Cachito electronic point of sale is already available via a sales network made up of 11,000 points of sale made up of both the 2,500 LOTENAL outlets and the 8,500 Pronósticos outlets. Crucially the new electronic point of sales means that customers who are visiting the Pronósticos outlets, which are far more numerous, can also take part in LOTENAL games as it allows customers to buy tickets electronically via the new Cachito Electrónico points of sale. In May 2017 it was reported that the new system had already increased sales by $24m additional pesos so far highlighting the need for Mexico to update its lottery and the fact that while sales have been in decline there is still considerabe demand for the LOTENAL’s long established products.