Will Whitehead

Associate Director - Accounts

Lottery: The Big Question


How have state lotteries embraced mobile solutions?

Regulated lotteries have provided tailored and bespoke mobile experiences since the early 2010s. Back then, having a great mobile product, in particular a native app, was seen as a bit of a luxury item and a nice-to-have marketing tool. Now, the mobile app is a key channel for customer acquisition, retention and satisfaction. The mobile app should provide a great gaming experience, easy access to game play and the ability to purchase tickets, play casino, place a bet etc; while also appealing to the ‘softer’ gamer, offering non-transactional features, such as ticket scanner or check to see if you’re a winner.

The arrival of mobile solutions for lotteries has opened many doors for increased customer engagement and has transformed the way players interact with lotteries. Before these mobile solutions, a typical lottery customer would purchase a ticket in a retail store and that would be it, no further personalised engagement was possible. This is no longer the case.

As mobile technology and solutions advanced and evolved over the past 10 years, lottery retailers had seen this as a threat to their brick and mortar products. However, the mobile device can be a great partner to the retail experience. By offering features such as the ability to build a ticket on your mobile, and generate a barcode for in-retail purchase or Bluetooth and beacon marketing technology within the retail environment, retailers are embracing the transition and partnership between mobile and retail more than ever.

Lotteries have also leveraged mobile solutions to cross-sell between verticals. Before digital offerings were available, it was very difficult to offer a classical retail lottery customer entertainment via casino or sportsbook engagement. They were different customers, a different target audience. However, utilising mobile technology, lotteries are in a much better position to cross-sell between different product verticals, e.g. lottery customers to instant win players, to casino players, or encourage sports bettors to buy a tick when a large jackpot banner is being promoted on the sportsbook home screen.

Android and Apple invest millions of dollars and thousands of hours, every year, in researching and developing the best UX, UI and navigational practices on mobile devices. In total, 90% of people’s time spent on a mobile phone is spent on apps. Lotteries are starting to recognise this and acknowledge they themselves must invest in mobile apps that utilise these powerhouse Operating Systems features, and functionality to ensure they are providing their customers with the best possible experience. Core features of a lottery app, such as ticket scanner, ticket purchase, biometric login, playing games and receiving push notifications, are no longer a nice-to-have, but an absolute must-have. Apple and Android also provide innovative features which lotteries can take advantage of, e.g. home screen widgets now offering the ability for lotteries to promote the jackpot value on the home screen of your phone, without the need to even open the app.

A key benefit of enhanced mobile offerings that lotteries can utilise is ensuring lottery products are more easily accessible to those players with disabilities. Mobile sites and apps are now much more versatile and set up in a framework that employs accessibility design across the portfolio, often making purchase significantly easier than in the retail store. Mkodo is a thought leader on accessibility design within the lottery sector and is passionate about its clients’ customers having the highest standards of accessibility design, so that lottery can be enjoyed by everyone who is eligible.

Mobile has also supported lottery’s key goal of ensuring customers are playing responsibly. Digital channel products can incorporate responsible gaming tools (such as session limits, deposit limits and voluntary self-exclusion) and make these tools very easy to engage with. Lotteries now have more data and analytics than ever on their player activity, demographics and customer behaviour. This helps drive and prioritise lottery innovation and product road map, as well as recognising potentially vulnerable customers and ensuring appropriate action is taken to support them.


Will Whitehead, associate director – accounts, mkodo, joined mkodo shortly after graduating from the University of Western England. He has developed deep experience by progressing through the ranks from being an account executive to heading up the account management department at mkodo and joining mkodo's leadership team in early 2020. Will is passionate about the betting, gaming and lottery industry, particularly with regards to innovation, front-end products and excellent user experience.

At mkodo, we are lottery mobile specialists. We design and develop apps and mobile experiences for regulated lotteries, across the globe. We are passionate about partnering with our regulated lottery clients to utilise the latest technology and best practice UX design, to provide engaging experiences to their customers and help raise further monies for good causes.