Provincial agencies want more young people buying lotto tickets

The Canadian Press
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Provincial lottery agencies are banding together to try to develop a new national lottery aimed at people under 35.

WINNIPEG — Provincial lottery agencies are facing a big problem — millennials aren’t buying lottery tickets nearly as much as their parents do.

The agencies are banding together to try to develop a new national lottery aimed at people under 35. They also want to find ways to make ticket-based gambling more attractive to the video-game generation.

“We know that this young adult demographic has changed and that the kinds of games we’re offering — the big lotto games — are not necessarily as appealing to today’s younger adults,” said Andrea Marantz, spokeswoman for the Western Canada Lottery Corp., which covers the territories and three Prairie provinces.

“Lottery is like any other kind of consumer product. We have to expend some effort in (research and development) to just keep products relevant.”

The Interprovincial Lottery Corp., which represents all provincial and territorial lottery agencies, is looking for consultants who can come up with ideas for a new game similar to Lotto 6-49, in which players select numbers.

A request for proposals says the winning consultant will lead “face-to-face brainstorm ... sessions to generate ... ideas for a new, national lottery game that will be attractive to the 18-34-year-old player base.”

Another task will be to “analyze and understand provided research that has been completed on the motivations and barriers to play for 18-34 year-old lottery players.”

It may be a challenge. Statistics on the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.’s website indicate that among Ontarians who buy lotto tickets at least once a week, only 13 per cent are under 35. The mean age of players who take part at least once a week is 52.

Across the country, the decline is sharp.

“The two national lottery products (Lotto 6-49 and Lotto Max) are experiencing historic levels of decline for the young adult demographic ... by anywhere from 8-31 per cent,” says the request for proposals.

“If we do not attract younger players ... to play lottery games, over time the lottery business is at risk of decline.”

Sally MacDonald, a 32-year-old social service worker in Winnipeg, is one of the many millennials who are not interested in lottery tickets. She says the long odds are a prime reason.

“There’s no results from it. I’ve watched my dad play 6-49 for years and years, and he’s maybe won $500.”

MacDonald says people her age get more enjoyment out of surfing the web and filling out online questionnaires on sites such as Buzzfeed, where one recent page asked readers what actress would portray them in a movie of their life.

“You look at how many people do those Buzzfeed quizzes because there’s something funny or entertaining out of it, right?

“But something like a lottery ticket, unless you’re winning, you’re not getting entertained.”

Organizations: Western Canada Lottery, Interprovincial Lottery, Ontario Lottery and Gaming

Geographic location: WINNIPEG

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Recent comments

  • fred
    March 28, 2014 - 11:30

    This is the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard of! We teach our children; at a young age ; not to gamble and use drugs. Now the gov. through our medical system ;has many kids hooked on drugs ; now they are trying to get them addicted to gambling.Gov takes 50% of our income on taxes now. I guess they want us to gamble the other 50%. on scratch tickets. The pay out on scratch tickets is $ 10.00 for every million they take in.

  • hmmmm
    March 28, 2014 - 08:24

    I hope the government doesn't decide to spend another $150,000.00 on programs to promote youth using the lotto, like they did to encourage more youth to play Bingo! Wouldn't want to spend tax payers money on programs to teach kids how to find jobs, invest money or contribute to the economy.. Lets promote gambling and lets get all up in arms and cry to the media when our youth have the good sense to avoid gambling or wasting their money!

  • james
    March 28, 2014 - 06:47

    lottery = stupid tax

  • thinktank
    March 27, 2014 - 21:57

    Here are a few ideas, sexting by numbers, lipstick party scratch tickets, date rape pull tabs, those should draw the kids in, maybe the prizes could be paid out with cigarettes? Your Welcome Andrea Marantz

  • govt need your money more than your kids do
    March 27, 2014 - 10:03

    government will have to find new ways to raise money !!!! a gov't sponsored red light district or dog fighting would fit in with todays political thinking !!! keep milking those addictions!!!

  • Truth Seeker
    Truth Seeker
    March 26, 2014 - 08:12

    "The lottery business is at risk of decline" Sounds terrible, what ever will we do when the profits go from 10,000% to 9.000%.

  • 24
    March 25, 2014 - 20:51

    I'm not one for commenting on a new article but is this a joke?

  • middle aged
    March 25, 2014 - 19:25

    How about pay for education, have more jobs, be stable, develop strong communities, be family oriented, commit to social justice, volunteer, perform acts of service, help aging parents, take part in community groups, be on a school board, vote….etc. and the list could go on. NEVER would I endeavour to see young people buy lotto tickets. Ridiculous.

  • Rottluff
    March 24, 2014 - 11:36

    Great -- and while we're at it, let's get them to drink more booze and smoke more government grown marijuana. Major contribution to the social fabric, for sure. Sigh!

  • Quiet Observer
    March 24, 2014 - 11:06

    Yes, great idea. let's get more young people addicted to gambling to feed tax dollars to blow of things like Plan B. yes, I see the reasoning behind this - NOT!

  • lucky
    March 24, 2014 - 10:50

    I'm in the middle-aged. My mother has played the lotto since I was a child. She has never won. Her friends all play, they have never won. My neighbours play and they have never won. I don't know anyone who has ever won. See a pattern? That's the problem. My conclusion is that I'm better off investing the $15 per week in a savings account... I may as well just burn the money as to play the lottery.

  • Wayne Proude
    March 24, 2014 - 10:04

    I hope this continues to decline Young people are in debt so bad they don't need something else