Ernesto Prieto
Director General
Lotenal And Pronósticos Para La Asistencia Pública
View from the Top

Healthy Finances Provide More Support for Mexicans

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 17:25

Q: What strategies will you put in place to position and strengthen the Lotería Nacional brand?

A: Lotería Nacional will turn 250 in 2020 and since its creation, it has supported the public and economic life of the country. Throughout this time, Lotería Nacional has only halted its operations for brief moments, during the War of Independence and during the Mexican Revolution. Lotería Nacional has provided support for different causes, such as the building of hospices, the construction of a train between Mexico and Toluca during Benito Juárez’s administration, the construction of Reforma Avenue and San Andrés Hospital, which later became Hospital Siglo XXI.  

Unfortunately, today, Lotería Nacional has a deficit of MX$540 million (US$28.4 million). Our goal is to reverse this deficit through austerity, transparency, efficiency and sales. Lotería Nacional’s main objective is to contribute to public assistance. However, the only way to do this is to increase our sales and boost our resources. Our first objective is to reverse Lotería Nacional’s current financial situation and to do that we will merge Lotería Nacional and our betting arm, Pronósticos para la Asistencia Pública. We are just waiting for an answer from the entities involved, such as the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Public Service, the Attorney General’s Office and the Juridical Advisor of the Presidency to start this unification process. Unlike Lotería Nacional, Pronósticos does not have a deficit and in fact, provides the federal treasury with over MX$500 million (US$26.3 million).

Another objective is to increase our points of sale. We have 83 points of sale in the country, with 50 of those in the Mexico City metropolitan area, plus three virtual outlets. Lotería Nacional’s clients are older people, around 45-50 years of age on average. This means we have a significant opportunity to attract younger customers. We want to use social media to better and more efficiently promote Lotería Nacional and attract a younger demographic.

Q: How will Lotería Nacional work toward the digitalization of its offering and services?

A: We want to modify the contests. In fact, in 2019, we want to increase our electronic ticket series. Lotería Nacional holds four draws per week and each has three sets of tickets or series. Every series except one is done on paper with the exception, called “Cachito Electrónico,” performed electronically. The idea is to have at least three electronic series per week by 2020. Going digital will help us engage millennial clients who are accustomed to mobility and digitalization.

Q: How is Lotería Nacional planning to position itself to compete against international lotteries?

A: We want to promote Lotería Nacional in the US. The project has been presented and we expect to start working alongside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to promote the draws of both Lotería Nacional and Pronósticos among Mexicans living in the US. This is another reason we need to implement a digital component and even develop a Lotería Nacional app. The market of Mexicans living in the US represents an interesting opportunity for us and we believe that providing them with the chance to buy Lotería Nacional tickets will help them feel closer to their country.

Q: What are Lotería Nacional’s goals in terms of income and participants?

A: Each draw has between 2.4 million and 3.6 million tickets, so we sell hundreds of millions of tickets per year. We are confident we can reduce Lotería Nacional’s deficit by MX$400 million (US$21 million), at least. The situation at Pronósticos is different. We expect to register 7 percent growth in 2019, especially since we have had sales above this target for the first two months of the year.  Eventually, we will replicate this at Lotería Nacional. We want to leave a Lotería Nacional that is financially healthy, with its credibility intact. The Lotería Nacional is among the few public institutions recognized by the majority of the population. People identify the Lotería Nacional with its public assistance work, the niños gritones (kids announcing the results) and as a chance for them to turn around their lives.