Hammer and Tongues Holdings, through its lottery gaming provider, Africalotto, has introduced mobile and online gambling to the Zimbabwean market with an Android application called The Africalotto Mobile App.
Through this app,the first of its kind in Zimbabwe, registered users can place bets on the different lottery games that Africalotto already provides through its retail network. These include Lucky Numbers, BONUS LOTTO and Fast Lotto.
The application’s main menu has 10 tabs that run through options which include:
Purchasing which takes you to the Games List(Lucky Numbers, BONUS Lotto and Fast Lotto)
Scratch Game (Lists the scratch card games only)
Find a retailer – This is for identifying where to top your account or to redeem your winnings on a bet across all the 10 provinces in the country. This comes with a list and map view.
Reports – This details all transactions and purchased tickets. Reports detailed here include withdrawals on any winnings or money already in your account.
Results Report – an e-solution for lotto results which has always been one huge problem on its own. Its really useful if you miss the ZBC Saturday night results broadcast. While other lottery services outside Zimbabwe have developed apps for this one feature Africalotto has made it an add on to a host of other services.
An Invite A Friend Feature – There’s no fun in playing lotto on your own apparently. Its a smart move on Africalotto’s part as the whole referral aspect will help grow the network of mobile Lotto players.
So how does one place bets? Well once you register your account on the app (You have to enter your Date of Birth which safeguards against underage gambling) you have an account that you can credit with money via mobile money or at any Africalotto outlet.
The first Africalotto agent i spoke to assured me that I could use EcoCash, telecash and OneWallet for deposits but on my account the only mobile money option I saw was for EcoCash. This was presumably linked to the phone number I had used for registering. Withdrawals are made at the same outlets as well.
The app can be used on any device running Android Ginger Bread and later versions with a download link for its apk and instructions for setup available on the Africa Lotto website and on a QR code that has been placed on the adverts for the app. Africalotto says it is working on an iOS and Windows Phone version of the app as well.
The developers/owners of the app put up a note (misleading one for that matter) that states how lottery apps are not allowed on Google Play hence the download and installation of an app that your device will warn you against. This is likely to deter users skeptical of installing apps that don’t look legitimate, especially where monetary concerns are an issue.
The app scores points for coming in to provide a solution that most would have expected the local lotto and gaming houses to execute by now. Local gaming has been ripe for tech disruption for a while so perhaps the first visible attempt like this one will help show how the opportunity exists along with solutions. Perhaps we are going to see sports betting being tackled next?
Have you used the Africalotto app? What do you think of its functionality? You can share your opinions in the comments section below.