Jackpocket's foray into the online casino space will be in partnership with Caesars

Lottery Courier Jackpocket Will Enter The NJ Online Casino Fray Next Year

Jackpocket, the first web-based lottery ticket courier registered with the New Jersey Lottery, is about to add another first for its company in the Garden State. The New York-based company “will be the first third-party lottery service to enter the online casino space in the Garden State,” according to its announcement yesterday.

Its entry to the NJ online casino space will take place next year, in partnership with Caesars.

Jackpocket CEO Peter Sullivan says in the announcement:

“Our user research has shown a high correlation between Jackpocket lottery players and those who enjoy casino-style gaming.”

Jackpocket didn’t provide a link to that research in its announcement or on its site.

However, the overlap between the two is a topic that comes up frequently. For instance, on Nov. 3,  Play Pennsylvania reported on the comparison ending up in court. In that case, a coalition of casinos claimed the PA iLottery offered games that are “too similar” to the slots offered by the casinos. That’s a fight that’s been ongoing for a while now, and just won’t die.

Meanwhile before Jackpocket can offer online casino games, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) needs to approve them. Jackpocket also tells customers to stay tuned for more product announcements, as it got $120 million in funding “to pioneer the future of lottery play,” according to a Nov. 9 press release.

Lottery play is No. 1 among US gamblers

Of course, Jackpocket’s customers may be different from average lottery players. They’re already online, whereas most US lottery players aren’t yet online gamblers. So says research released in March by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG). 

NCPG says:

“The lottery is the most popular form of gambling in the US, having been played by 66% of adults in the year prior to the survey.”

However, most US gamblers simply aren’t yet online, NCPG says. Only about 15% of survey-takers wagered online on anything from sports to poker and from slots to horse racing, the research shows. NCPG didn’t tally iLottery players or online lottery ticket buyers in this category.

About 27% of those surveyed didn’t gamble at all, 16% only wagered on one activity and the rest bet on at least two types of gambling. Around 11% gambled on seven to 10 activities a year, NCPG says.

Among the 22% of gamblers who pick only one activity, 71% play the lottery, the research says.

Risky gambling behavior increases with frequency

US online gambling operators are always performing a balancing act between increasing use of their apps and promoting problematic gambling behavior. Cross selling between verticals is always controversial, especially when the target vertical is the casino. Some studies suggest that’s the highest risk category of product.

At the moment, online sports betting apps like BetMGM Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook are more likely to cross-promote their online casino products to their customer database. These apps do have responsible gambling options.

Now, Jackpocket may be entering this online casino cross-promotion realm. It may face even greater criticism, since those same studies which find casino games to be high risk often place draw lotteries at the low end. For instance, BMC Public Health found the rate of problematic play among draw lottery players to be around 8%, while casino players clock in at 26%.

However, the more frequently bettors play, the more at risk they are for “problematic gambling activity,” NCPG finds.

Overall, about 2% of gamblers exhibit such behavior. However, 7% of frequent lottery players “needed to gamble more for same feeling of excitement,” according to NCPG.

Each year, 6% of online players have the same issue, as do 6% of sports bettors. Among weekly sports bettors, though, that “need” increases to 11%.

Jackpocket is aware of responsible gambling and NCPG, as the company is a member of the council, is “certified for responsible gaming through NCPG’s assessment program (iCAP)” and won NCPG’s 2019 Best Corporate Social Responsibility Award.

- Heather Fletcher is the lead writer with OnlinePokerReport. She's a career journalist, with bylines in The New York Times, Adweek and other publications. Reach her at [email protected]
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