As an entrepreneur, you might be wondering where your next stream of revenue will come from. The online gambling sector has performed well despite the pandemic and economic uncertainty. Projections for the next five years are impressive and robust and each year brings with it a steady growth rate. Online Lottery accounts for a big chunk of the online gambling market, it has low overheads, is technologically simple to set up and run, and provides big rewards for operators and players. In this article, Fast Offshore will help you understand how to start a lotto business.
Do your research
One of the first steps to consider in your journey of how to start a lotto business is thorough research. This will include looking at competitor sites, current trends in online lotto, and looking for gaps in the market. Also, take into consideration bonuses and loyalty schemes other sites offer, whether they have apps or mobile-optimized sites, and what currencies they offer payments and withdrawals in, for example, cryptocurrency. Your overall goal is to have enough information to create a value proposition that exceeds your potential customer’s needs and sets you apart from your competitors.
Business planning for a lottery business
The next step of the process is to put the information you gathered in step one, into a business plan. This plan will not just provide you with concrete details on how the lotto business will run. It will also be useful to present to investors, license providers, banks, and regulators.
This plan should include every aspect of your lottery business and should be actionable, realistic, and comprehensive. Your business plan must include the following:
- Company name, structure, and where you intend on being licensed.
- Define your brands’ name, the corporate identity, logo, graphics, colour scheme, and other identifiable features specific to your lottery product. In this section, you need to give your brand a voice, and a personality.
- Information on who senior management is as well as which departments your company will have and which roles will populate them.
- A financial plan including where your money will come from and how you will get additional investments and funding.
- An operations plan including your office, staff, and the key roles that are needed to be filled to ensure the smooth running of the company.
- How clients will pay for the services and what third parties you will use.
- A solid understanding of the lottery market in the location you plan to offer your services in. Make sure to include forecasts for the lotto industry.
- Identify who your main competitors are as well as gaps in the market
- What kind of lotto games you will offer; multi-lotto, traditional lotto, mobile lotto, mini-lotto, scratchers, etc
- Information on the niche you plan to fill, how your product will be different, and the needs you can solve.
- A detailed description of your product, how it works, what makes it different, and how it could develop in the future. You should be sure to explain every aspect of the lotto offering including an outline of technical details.
- Who your clients are including ages, gender, location, income, and preferences. Ideally, for each type of lotto game that you plan to offer.
- An outline of your marketing strategy explaining how you’ll penetrate the market. Include objectives and tactics that will be used to achieve your company goals and vision. It should also detail how you will attract the attention of your different brand personas, how you will retain them, and how you plan to ensure loyalty.
- Details of loyalty schemes, bonuses, and VIP programs.
- Channels you will use to reach prospective customers via advertising. For example, sponsorships, paid adverts, banners, social media, etc.
- Your sustainability and expansion strategy.
This list isn’t exhaustive. The content of your business plan will be tailored to your lotto business’s exact features.
How to start a lotto business: Plan your finances
Planning and understanding your finances is undertaken at the business plan stage. Part of the process is knowing how you will fund your startup, how much it will cost, and what your finances are likely to be like over the next years. Of course, it is impossible to predict how your business will go but with careful analysis and estimation, you can build a reliable financial model. Your first step is to consider all the startup costs.
Legal and administrative costs
When you think “how to set up a lotto business”, many don’t think about legal and admin costs, but they are there. You will need to hire a corporate services provider to help you with licensing, incorporating a company, opening a bank account, and taking care of fiscal matters. They can also provide services including compliance assistance, liaison with payment providers, and ongoing business support.
Fast Offshore can assist with all the activities above as well as providing both turn-key and tailor-made packages that adjust to your business’ needs.
To operate an online lottery, you will need to have a license to do so. The license is issued by the licensing authority in the jurisdiction you’re based in. Typically, online gambling startups opt for offshore jurisdictions such as Curacao or Kahnawake to be licensed. This is due to lower costs, quicker set up times, minimal red tape, and a range of fiscal benefits.
The licensing process will require the submission of an application form, several KYC and corporate documents. At this stage, you may not have settled on a jurisdiction for operation so someone like Fast Offshore can help you choose the best jurisdiction for you. By listening to your needs, we will present you with different options and provide you with information on the pros and cons.
Features your perfect corporate service provider should have:
- Demonstrable experience in several jurisdictions that you’re interested in
- Over 10 years of experience in online gambling and specifically in lotto
- A proven track record in providing cross-border corporate services
- A multi-disciplinary portfolio of services
- Offering tailor-made and turn-key packages
- A network of experienced and reputable partners in other key jurisdictions
- A strong network of third-party online gambling and lotto service provider contacts
- Working relationships with payment providers
- The ability to refer clients to offshore banks
- Experience in blockchain and crypto
- A commitment to transparency, honesty, and professionalism
- Thorough knowledge of current lotto trends and projections for the future
- Experience in compliance, regulatory matters, and assisting with policy drafting
- Ongoing maintenance and service packages
Fast Offshore has all of these features, and more. For over 22 years we have worked in online gambling and have helped countless clients branch out into lottery. To find out how we can help you, get in touch.
Create a legal entity for your company
The next step of how to start a lotto business is to incorporate your offshore company. You should have discussed in detail with your corporate service provider, exactly which jurisdiction offers the best benefits for you. These will vary depending on budget, timeline, business size, and even how you want to get paid. Each jurisdiction has a different requirement for incorporation and offers different tax benefits and levels of privacy. Figure out which one suits you best and then start the process.
Typically, you’ll present proof of identity, address, company documents, a business plan, and you’ll pay a fee. Once this is done, you’ll move onto the fun bit which is getting the lotto platform up and running.
Create your lotto platform
One of the most exciting stages of how to start a lotto business is creating your platform. This will include creating a website and app and then integrating lotto software into it. If you are a startup, you will need to create your online lotto platform from scratch. Both of these require a framework, hosting, and graphic design. At this stage, you will choose whether to license games from game developers, or whether to create your own.
Think about offering several different kinds of lotto including themed draws, daily and weekly events, and scratchers. This provides users with enough diversity to keep them coming back regularly instead of going elsewhere. Remember, all your customer-facing products have to be well designed, fast, and secure.
If you are operating in an offshore jurisdiction, you may not have any tax liabilities, or if you do, they may be lower. Tax is a complicated matter especially with online gambling and offshore corporate structures. To ensure you get it right and don’t fall foul of the law, it’s best to let experts handle all your corporate structuring and tax optimization. This will ensure you are in line with local and international tax rules, but pay the optimum amount of tax possible.
Set up payments
Now you need to pay attention to how you will get paid. Ideally, you should be providing customers with several different options for them to pay. These can include bank transfers, credit and debit cards, third-party payment processors, and cryptocurrency. Remember, the more secure options you provide for your customers, the more people will be able to access your services. Furthermore, providing payment in cryptos such as bitcoin and ether will give you a significant competitive edge.
Remember, with lottery, deposit and transaction sizes may be smaller than regular casino games. You need a processor who is happy to work with lots of small payments and can offer you good rates. Fast Offshore has working relationships with most of the main payment processors and providers and can secure you favourable rates. This will keep your costs low and allow you to service your clients more comprehensively. Contact us if you have any questions.
Ideally, the marketing process should have started around the time you started the process of ‘how to start a lotto business’. Online gambling is competitive, and you need to make sure your brand name starts being known before you go live. You can create hype through content marketing, set up your social media channels and start posting teasers, and send out press releases to industry news sites. Start amassing a following and nurture relationships with affiliates early on in the setup process.
You can also consider speaking at industry events, sponsoring events, and other forms of networking to get the name out there. Your Marketing Director and the team will create a winning marketing strategy and make sure you spark the interest of your target demographics.
Finetune customer service
One of the most important, but often overlooked aspects of running a lotto business is having good customer service. The lotto industry has been plagued by poor interfaces and untrustworthy operators. You need to fight that and change people’s minds. One of the ways to do this is to provide outstanding customer service.
Multiple support channels
Good customer service means offering your customers multiple ways to contact you. As a bare minimum, you should have telephone, email, and webchat. You can also enlist a chatbot to man the web chat around the clock, dealing with simple enquiries and fuelling other queries to the right department. It’s advisable to open your social media platforms to customer messages, allowing them to interact with you on channels they are used to. Be sure you always acknowledge messages and resolve issues in the minimum amount of time.
A happy customer is a returning customer. Providing ways for your customers to give feedback is a great way to identify issues and retain them.
Sending out questionnaires, asking them to rate your customer service, and soliciting suggestions and criticism will help you fix and fine-tune your service. It will also make your clients feel listened and appreciated. This goes a long way in building player loyalty and long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships.
Another great way to boost the service you offer and keep players happy is by providing rewards. These can include VIP and Loyalty Schemes, bonuses, deposit matches, and various other incentives. The idea is you give something back to your customers to reward them for playing with you. You can offer them a membership to a VIP club that gives them VIP draws or cash back, or give them points that they can redeem for tickets and more. The idea is to give them a little bit extra as a reward for their loyalty.
Now you’ve completed the how to start a lotto business process, it’s time to go live! Lotto is a fast-paced, competitive, and exciting industry with more and more new players every day. It’s showing consistent growth and projections for the future show there is no sign of slowing down. Now is the time to either branch out into lotto or to set up a standalone online lotto site. To start this journey in the right way, partner with Fast Offshore and let us help you make your dream a reality!
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