Ethiopia’s National Lottery Administration has partnered with Ethio telecom, a telecommunications firm, to launch a digital lottery service via telebirr and 605 SMS.
Aiming to reduce printing and material expenses, the digital lottery service will be integrated into Ethio telecom’s telebirr platform, and offer players quick and frictionless digital payment options.
Telebirr has over 21,000 merchants using the platform and over 21 million subscribers who have spent over Br25.7bn (£409.3m) since its launch.
As a result of the partnership, players wishing to participate in the digital lottery can dial into telebirr or use the National Lottery Administration’s 605 SMS service by sending A or any letter.
Once the purchase has been completed, customers will receive the lottery ticket number and the lottery drawing date either via 127 telebirr SMS or 605 SMS sent from NLA.
Both parties have lauded the deal’s ability to ‘enhance accessibility’ to the lottery, activating more customers who can buy lottery tickets online. In turn, this would ideally generate more funds for the NLA, which would obtain larger revenues.
However, Ethiopia is currently assessing its gambling laws; a blanket ban on sports betting has been proposed by the country’s Ministry of Women and Social Affairs.
Concerns have been raised that gambling is adversely impacting the country’s youth, with the Ministry outlining that gambling can cause ‘reduced productivity and psychological problems such as anxiety, depression and suicide’.
Despite this, legislative changes in Ethiopia saw the sports betting firms ordered to obtain individual licenses as the NLA was forced to seperate sports betting from its lottery laws, creating a clear line between the two verticals.