In 2016, the Gambling Commission revealed that 12 percent of Brits had bought a scratchcard in the past month. This figure marked a three percent increase from the previous year. Two years later, the National Audit Office, which acts as the government’s spending watchdog, noted a significant increase in sales. These numbers make scratchcards the UK’s second most popular form of gambling.
Unsurprisingly, the popularity of ‘scratchies’ has led to the creation of an industry that’s now worth £3 billion and growing. Almost everyone has purchased one at some point, with their affordability making scratchcards easily accessible to the masses.
Now, the online industry is snowballing too. We take a look at exactly why online casinos are adding scratchcards to their multitude of offerings.
When it comes to online entertainments, markets tend to be fiercely competitive. Without the restrictions of brick-and-mortar premises, internet retailers can sell to individuals across the globe, and they make sure to take full advantage.
This means most modern businesses recognize the importance of and opportunities associated with putting their wares online, leading to an amped-up rivalry between providers. One of the simplest ways to stand out from the crowd is to offer variety; to make sure an online business has something for everyone.
Given the popularity of their physical counterparts, this makes online scratchcards a natural addition to a virtual casino’s line-up. What’s more, scratchies can be married to other best-selling entertainments, with bingo hybrids being particularly popular. Offering a new take on two old favourites, these have an in-built sales appeal that recommends them to providers.
Accessible and affordable
It’s not only variety that sells: so too do accessibility and affordability. One of the major lures for both online and offline scratchcards is that they cost very little to purchase, despite delivering attractive prizes.
What those who use online casinos most desire is affordably priced products that are easy and convenient for them to access, and virtual scratchcards tick both of these boxes. This means they’re guaranteed to sell, creating a lucrative market for providers to target.
For players, they have the bonus of being able to pick up a scratchcard any time they like. Rather than being bound by traditional business opening hours, they can play when the fancy takes them, whether that’s 9 pm at night or during their 8.30 am commute.
Entertainment for the masses
Touching again on a point we mentioned earlier, one of the foremost reasons that scratchcards were a natural candidate for moving online is because they already have an extensive and established customer base – that 12 percent figure is a convincing one.
Most of the entertainments that cross the physical/virtual barrier are ones that are in demand and that people want increased access to. The existing popularity of online scratchcards thus appealed to both online providers in search of new products and players who already know they enjoy them.
When it comes to understanding why scratchcards are one of the latest entertainments to go online, the answer is really quite simple: it was a move that suited both the companies who offer them and the customers they appeal to.