Lotteries: past, present and future


It is thought that a blueprint for lotteries is first mentioned in ancient Greek mythology. Soldiers drew stones out of a special helmet for the right to take on Zeus. These first lotteries appeared in ancient Rome and China and for many centuries came to be associated with not just entertainment, but also charity.

With the help of contributions from the purchase of lottery tickets for the state treasury during the Han dynasty, China financed the defence of the country and the building of the Great Wall of China. The late Roman Republic, partly during the time of Julius Caesar, spent the money raised on renovating buildings and other sites in the city.

In the European Middle Ages, lotteries were used to help the disadvantaged and to build canals and address social needs. For example, England reconstructed its ports, strengthened its army and, over many years of holding lotteries, constructed a multitude of important buildings.

In the New World, America also used lotteries to finance its army, pay for social and cultural projects, build settlements, schools and
universities and so on. Like in England, important buildings were constructed with money raised from lotteries held over the course of 250 years.

As such, lotteries contributed greatly to the development of infrastructure, military strength and cultural heritage of many modern-day countries. National lotteries drew in large audiences and prizes were always generous: the lucky winners would be awarded money or high-value prizes, such as tapestries or even gold bullion.


Nowadays, lotteries are held for very different reasons than the universal causes of previous centuries. Today’s lotteries are a form of entertainment without the fundraising. Rather, certain types of auctions and charity evenings have taken on this task and funds are raised by them to address current issues. Lotteries now serve to provide another form of entertainment and give people reason to celebrate.

According to preliminary estimations by the media, over $120bn is spent on the lotteries each year in the US, Canada, UK and the rest of the world. Almost all countries can boast of large-scale national lotteries with jackpots worth millions. And the technical capabilities of the times we live in mean that players are not limited to the lotteries that are held in their own countries; they can branch out and bet on the outcome of national lotteries all over the world.

Betinvest, as a provider of gambling solutions, supplies its clients with access to up to 100 national lotteries from around the world. And this includes 20,000-plus per month, 12,000,000- plus bets per month, 10,000-plus bets per minute and 700-plus rounds every five minutes on a daily basis.

Online, mobile and retail, Betinvest’s lottery solution can be easily integrated to any client platform. On our part, we provide product set-up to suit the needs of the region of operation, automated and multilevel bets, seamless wallet solutions, notifications in real time, 24/7 support, bet monitoring, etc.

The Betinvest lottery platform has been certified by one of the UK’s most reputable laboratories by Gaming Associates Europe, which is accredited in the EU zone and free zones such as the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, etc. This certification allows our company to supply our
in-house lottery solutions to both online and retail gaming operators in EU countries where local regulators do not require companies to carry out their own compliance checks.

The requirements of Gaming Associates Europe, which have to be met for UK certification to be granted, are some of the most stringent and elaborate. This therefore confirms our product is fair, secure and has been tested to the appropriate standards. As such, our partners can leave all concerns regarding the organisation of lotteries to us and enjoy working with our solution.


It could be said that lotteries will give way to other forms of gambling, since new technological solutions adopted in the industry have advanced graphics, appealing storylines, added gamification and elements of virtual and augmented reality. Within the betting industry, esports are also finding firm footing, drawing huge traction with the younger generations who practically grew up playing videogames.

But despite all of this, we believe that lotteries as a form of entertainment have one key advantage that will mean they remain forever popular: they are a simple game involving minimal financial input, but with the possibility of getting instant results.

By comparison, to play poker or any other card game, you need to understand the rules and hand combinations and you need to keep up what is going on during the game. When betting on sports, players are also usually familiar with not just the rules, but also statistics on athletes, their teams and the news outside of their life in sports.

Lotteries on the other hand are accessible for every customer to play here and now, anywhere in the world, without worrying about rules, without having to complete tough stages of the game, without having to make tough decisions and without losing large amounts of time and money. This is the entertainment industry after all and it has a great selection of services on offer. Even professional poker players or sports fans enjoy trying their luck now and again, by buying a lottery ticket, online or offline.

Experience also tells us that society has always viewed lotteries more favourably that other forms of gambling. In fact, many do not see lotteries as gambling at all. It seems to us that this is mainly to do with the fact that national lotteries are a key form of entertainment in almost every country, permitted by law.

We should also mention mass culture, which associates classical lotteries with cultural traditions and family entertainment, whereas poker or card games, for example, are seen as risky, dangerous endeavours and a game for opportunists.

In the future, national lotteries could remain part of the cultural code for the population of many countries and a form of entertainment for them. But online betting on lotteries will continue to create a globalised experience and allow players to take part in lotteries in any country, from the comfort of their own home. And they will continue to draw in new players with their simple and accessible local gaming solutions.


This article was originally published by iNTERGAMINGi.

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