The socio-economic impact of the SA Lotto

The socio-economic impact of the South African lotto has actually been quite extensive, especially as Gidani, the Lotto operators donate a large percentage to charity on an annual basis. The topic of legalised gambling always has its naysayers, but in terms of the Lotto there seems to have been some very positive steps taken to eliminate the negatives.

There’s no doubt that since the introduction of the lottery in 2000 it has had an impact on socio-economics and many players are better off thanks to the bi-weekly draws. There are always going to be those who abuse the system or do not game responsibly, but a National Gambling hotline has been created to assist those who feel they may be addicted or in trouble.

Job creation

The lotto employs a vast number of people to keep it running smoothly and everything from technicians to admin staff are utilised across the country. The job creation that the lotto has brought about has had a positive effect on many communities and even in the rural areas the lotto has offered employment to some.

As the lottery is national, employment has not been localised and staff from across the country have had to be employed. This means that the socio-economic reach of this simple game is far greater than if a casino or other type of gambling establishment were to open in a single area.


Many may argue that those who purchase Lottery Tickets and hope to win are those who can least afford to gamble and in 2007 it was reported that 27% of lotto players were in fact, unemployed. This threw the spotlight on people spending money where they could least afford to, however it was refuted by research that showed that although many players were unemployed, for 53% this was the only form of gambling they indulged in. With ticket prices starting at R2,50 it’s also a tough argument to say that this money could be spent elsewhere, especially when a single lotto line could win a player millions in prize money.

It also has to be taken into consideration that not only do winners help themselves, they often help others around them or put money towards good causes, which again benefits the greater good. A good example of this is a story we came across about a UK Lotto winner who went from living off a very basic budget, to winning a fortune and living the life of luxury, only to eventually feel as though it was time she gave something back to society. The full story can be read at:

Donations to charity

Gidani, the lotto operator donates a massive amount to charity and after only 3 months in operation in 2008 they had donated a whopping R222 million to charitable organisations. These donations have a huge impact on many people’s lives and can alter the life of poverty that so many in the poorer sectors of SA experience.

Every time a player buys a ticket at a machine or online, a percentage of their ticket price is donated to a charity and when Gidani took over lotto operations, they committed to contributing 34% each week from the total lotto sales. AIDs charities, research foundations and educational programmes are just some of the areas that benefit from these donations and the lottery does not just make ticket holders winners, it also assists in helping others and contributes to positive socio-economic growth.

The socio-economic impacts of the lotto can be debated endlessly but there’s no denying that the assistance the operator offers to charity is phenomenal, that the job creation is invaluable, and that those who do win can change their circumstances and those of others.