Austrian Lottery Initiates SMS Sales

25 June 2004

The Austrian Lotteries ("Österreichischen Lotterien") last week rolled out an SMS version of its most popular game, "Lotto 6 out of 45."

The total turnover for the Austrian Lotteries in 2003 was 1.35 billion euro. With sales of 623 million euro in 2003, 6 out of 45 is the most successful game of chance in the group's product line.

The SMS launch is the latest step in Österreichischen Lotterien's venture into the mobile space, which started in January 2001 with the debut of 6 out of 45 and "Joker" via WAP. The group claims the WAP service was the first of its kind in Europe.

Through SMS Lotto, Mobilkom Austria (a private subsidiary of the Post und Telekom Austria) and (the gaming platform of the Austrian Lotteries and Casinos Austria) enable players using all networks to participate in Lotto and Joker drawings by SMS any time and from anywhere.

"Just as with traditional Lotto, customers can choose to play a regular ticket or the 'Quicktipp,'" said Dr. Hannes Ametsreiter, director of marketing, distribution and customer services for Mobilkom Austria.

Payment is made through a deposit at, which can be refreshed by SMS using the paybox payment system or, for A1 private customers, through the A1 bill. A1 is the Mobilkom Austria's mobile multi-channel platform for WAP and SMS news, mail, games, shopping, m-commerce and more.

To play Lotto on the mobile phone, the player visits via the Internet or via WAP and activates SMS Lotto. For security reasons, one-time registration with the Austrian Lotteries is required.

Customers can begin playing immediately. As soon as SMS Lotto is activated, the user receives a list of available games. The customer then chooses to play a Quicktipp or purchase regular ticket.

The Quicktipp is particularly easy; simply sending "Q1" to a special telephone number, for example, enables users to play one Quicktipp; two Quicktipps can be played by sending "Q2." Up to 12 Quicktipps ("Q12") are possible.

To play a normal ticket, the customer sends an SMS with the text "N" and follows the SMS instructions to enter the Lotto numbers and the Jokers to be played.

Information on winnings and jackpots is available via SMS or e-mail.

According to a research by Fessel GfK in February 2004, the general willingness among Austrians to pay via mobile phone has risen enormously over the past year. One million Austrians, for example, are now willing to use their mobile phone to pay for Lotto Tipps.

The Payment Process

Prerequisites for using mobile services are mobile payment options that are accessible to everyone. With paybox (also used to process online payments), customers of all networks (regardless of whether using a prepaid, contract or company phone) can pay for SMS Lotto tickets from anywhere (even spontaneously while playing SMS Lotto, should their deposit at not have sufficient credit).

The SMS Lotto player enters his Lotto-Tipp via SMS, after which he receives an automated call from paybox giving the amount of the charge and specifying the recipient. The player then confirms the charge by entering the PIN code, just as he would at an ATM. A confirmation of payment is then sent by SMS or e-mail, and the amount is deducted from the user's bank account.

The Lotto/casino/betting sector is among the most profitable paybox applications for the Internet. The mobile Lotto service, thereby, has a working and heavily used system with high security standards at its disposal. paybox is now used by over 2,000 acceptance partners.

Among the most well known paybox applications are m-parking, mobile public transport tickets, mobile cinema and concert tickets as well as simple, secure payment through the Internet. The trend toward making payment for popular applications possible via mobile phone continues with SMS Lotto, allowing paybox to expand its role as Austria's market leader for mobile payments.

"We are pleased that the cooperation with the Austrian Lotteries has run so successfully since March 2003, and that with SMS Lotto a variety of new opportunities present themselves," Jochen Punzet, Director of paybox Austria, explained. "paybox makes completely mobile payment of Lotto Tipps possible for everyone, any time, any place."

Shareholders of the Austrian Lotteries

  • Casinos Austria AG: 34 percent.
  • P.S.K. Beteiligungsverwaltung AG: 34 percent.
  • Lotto-Toto Holding Gesellschaft m.b.H.: 26 percent.

Rob van der Gaast has a background in sports journalism. He worked for over seven years as the head of sports for Dutch National Radio and has developed new concepts for the TV and the gambling industry. Now he operates from Istanbul as an independent gambling research analyst. He specializes in European gambling matters and in privatizations of gambling operators. Rob has contributed to IGN since Jul 09, 2001.