The global lottery industry generates billions in sales every year. But despite being worth so much money, the industry is riddled with pressing issues, which include the lack of transparency and the growing doubt about the actual randomness of the draws. This concern comes from the fact that a broad range of platforms use pseudo-random number generators often audited by questionable authorities. This is leading to lottery companies seeking alternative ways to create draws.
To help increase a lottery’s transparency, fairness, and credibility, operators are starting to use the latest technology. The Naija Lottery in Nigera, is one of the most recent examples, as they partnered with Quanta to introduce blockchain technology to the traditional lottery market. The blockchain lottery operator will use smart contract-based technology to make the number generation more transparent in order to increase the fairness of the draw.
Part of the deal between the two companies is to bring decentralised ledger technology to the traditional lottery market, especially across Africa and Nigeria, which could prove to be a lucrative business opportunity. In 2016, Nigerians spent $395.5 million (₦154 billion) per day on lotteries and other games, which increased to just under £1 billion (₦ 308 billion) in 2017.
According to a Lisbon Technical University study on Crypto Bit News, the growth of lottery sales depends on a country’s GDP per capita. And since the Nigerians are currently spending a lot of money on lottery tickets, with 13 out of 20 people saying that they participate in some form of gaming, now is the time to build on its momentum using blockchain. Nigerian leaders are already working hard to build a safe and trustful platform to ensure fairness and transparency, and remove traces of corruption and inefficiency. As blockchain does not involve a middleman and transactions are much more transparent, this will increase fairness in the gaming industry, improving the overall experience for the customers.
This adoption of blockchain technology in the lottery industry follows a global trend of using the latest technology to transform gaming industries. DAO Casino created a platform that runs on an Ethereum blockchain with the aim to reduce “fraud risk; hidden fees; high cost of entry for game developers; operational overhead; player access to funds; player withdrawal delays; and general lack of trust.” The company will use the blockchain used for Ethereum to create smart contracts.
The rise of blockchain also mirrors the increasing use of cryptocurrency as an accepted form of currency. This is best represented in how it is now being used in international lotteries. The Express reports that as Bitcoin become more mainstream this has led to the creation of the world’s first licensed Bitcoin lottery by Lottoland. The lottery has been a success since it launched with Lottoland putting the current Bitcoin Lotto jackpot at 2,040 BTC (₦4 billion). What makes this lottery different is that the value of the jackpot reflects the current price of the cryptocurrency.
With cryptocurrencies like DasCoin becoming more widely used in Africa, it is not hard to believe that cryptocurrency lotteries will become more commonplace across the globe. In fact, the integration of blockchain into the Nigerian lottery could be the first step to an actual Nigerian cryptocurrency lottery.