How Blockchain Could Improve The Lottery in Africa
The gambling industry across the African continent is experiencing exponential growth. The biggest factors include increased access to mobile technology and changing socioeconomic conditions. The United Nations Development Programme, or UNDP, advocates using lotteries to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. Clearly, player protection and industry-regulated tax collection are 2 key priorities for gaming sector regulators in Africa. Blockchain technology might be the best way to ensure them.
Lottery Wealth Redistribution
Although all forms of gambling are surging in Africa, sports betting remains the most popular. However, lotteries are also attracting a huge number of players for every draw. They are different from sports bets in 2 very significant ways. Firstly, they are games of chance requiring no skills or insight. When you wager on sports you can expect to improve with knowledge and practice. This is not true of lotteries.
Secondly, and possibly more importantly, lotto funds are used for good works. The games generate “painless revenue”; players voluntarily buy tickets and thus fund the lotteries’ support of projects in health, education and other sectors. In the United Kingdom the National Lottery has raised over £40 billion for worthy causes to date. This is one of the most potentially effective methods of wealth redistribution available to Africa right now.
Effective Regulation With Blockchain
As mobile technology continues to develop and gambling provides an enticingly cheap and easy way to win millions, all forms of African betting and gaming need to be regulated. The decentralised, transparent and unchangeable nature of blockchain technology could make it the perfect tool to achieve just that.
Online casinos, sportsbooks and lotteries process very high transaction volumes, so strong cyber security is essential. Players’ personal and financial information must be kept private at all times. Using a blockchain ledger, potential threats from hackers can very quickly be identified. The ledgers are also resistant to denial of services, meaning they improve gaming platform stability.
Because blockchain technology tracks digital currency movement, it helps to ensure that revenue contribution make it to their allocated destinations. In addition, it can help detect tax collection issues and allocate monies for specific causes. In Nigeria alone, there is an estimated $60 billion tax gap due to inefficient or ineffective collection. These funds are wasted, when they could be used for good works within the country.
Blockchain Implementation is Beginning
As countries in Africa and around the rest of the world have shown, banning any form of gambling sends it underground and creates serious issues. A regulated, above-board industry allows for control of betting and gaming risks.
At the same time, the considerable tax benefits for ordinary citizens can be harnessed. Seamless and uniform regulations could be implemented in gambling jurisdictions around the world, and lotteries could be audited consistently.
In late 2018 a blockchain-oriented company called Quanta, based in the Isle of Man, acquired a stake in Nigerian company International Lottery and Gaming Limited. This world first, of a blockchain company acquiring a traditional lottery, may well be the start of distributed ledger use throughout the industry. Authorities recognize how essential effective regulation is, and blockchain is increasingly seen as one of the best ways to achieve it.