Poland To Play Lottery Online For First Time This November
Polish people will soon be able to play the state lottery online, after operator Totalizator Sportowy announced it's iLotto will be launched in November.
Following the launch of non-cash payments at official terminals earlier this year, Totalizator Sportowy (TS) has continued to roll out card payment options with partners like Carrefour stores, Inmedio, and Totolotek.
It began testing its iLotto portal and mobile application in September, with an aim to launch by the end of this year, and has this week informed November will be the start date for Poland's first online lottery.
Aida Bella, spokeswoman for Totalizator Sportowy, stressed it has been TS's goal of the year to have online lottery up-and-running before 2019. The card payments was the key issue to iron out, all other functions already working online for the past 27 years, in terms of data collection processes.
"This year is a breakthrough for the company, because thanks to the amended Gambling Act, we can implement many new projects," Bella said.
"The main goal that we want to achieve this year is to introduce our products to the internet."
With that moving forwards, she was quick to update on the status of non-cash payments. "From February this year, our clients have had the option of card payments through all applications in Lotto shops," she said.
"You can also pay without cash at over 400 points of sale. Implementation in subsequent networks is planned for Q4 of 2018, and works are underway to integrate the payment terminal with the lotto sales system - thanks to this, you will be able to pay without cash at individual TS partners facilities."
There are over 17,000 points of sale for TS's Lotto games and it is planned to have all of them available to non-cash customers by the end of 2020.
The launch of iLotto stems from amendments in the Polish Gambling Act, which came into force in April. It authorised online casino, poker and bingo products solely for TS, and gave it full control of slot machines, giving the organisation scope to expand.
No other operator has been given permission to offer these product to Polish customers, and TS is being to move into this area by opening 50 slot machines outlets, offering more than 1200 units, and by launching iLotto.
It began working with UK-listed technology provider Playtech earlier this year to develop its online casino platform, eKasyno, but now iLotto has jumped the production queue and is poised for a November start.
Even before that begins to generate new customers, the effects of legislation changes on TS has seen a massive increase in revenue; Net revenue from sales in 2016 was PLN 4.6billion, and that increased by PLN 1billion in 2017 - to PLN 5.6billion.
TS's increasing wealth makes what was already a self-sufficient entity now a serious state asset. In many European nations, like the UK, the state lottery funds are invested back into communities, and particularly into sports.
TS announced in August that it was going to specifically back six Polish athletes that are aiming to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
Short-track ice-skater Patrycja Maliszewska, speed skater Sebastian Kłosiński and rowing foursome Agnieszka Kobus-Zawojska, Maria Springwald, Marta Wieliczko and Katarzyna Zillmann will all be fully backed by TS in their Olympic preparations.
"We believe that our help will allow them to achieve even better results, strengthen the position of Polish sport in the international arena, and give the fans more reasons for joy and fantastic experiences," Olgierd Cieślik, the President of TS said.
In 2017, the lottery contributed PLN 744million to the Physical Culture Development Fund, managed by the Ministry of Sport and Tourism. Since 1994 it has donated PLN 11.3 billion to the charity.
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