Offering a stable vision for the future to retail partners

By: Trademagazin editor Date: 2023. 06. 12. 11:25

Our magazine sat down for a conversation with Zsófia Bánhegyi, chief commercial officer of Szerencsejáték Zrt.

This article is available for reading in Trade magazin 2023/6-7.

– How did the last few challenging years influence the lottery and betting sector?

Zsófia Bánhegyi 
chief commercial officer

– During Covid sales by lottery shops dropped considerably. The war in Ukraine and the ensuing crisis also had a negative impact on sales in certain categories, but only temporarily. Our sales are growing faster now than the European average, and our retail network expanded by double-digit numbers this year. Currently there are 7,700 lottery locations in Hungary.

– What were the main stages of your development process, and what kind of advantage did they bring to Szerencsejáték Zrt.?

– The focus was on modernising our lottery shop network and on strengthening our relationship with partners. Development work concentrates on supporting our retail network with digital tools such as applications and improved CRM systems. Szerencsejáték Zrt.’s network consists of 3,500 SME partners, and strategic firms such as the Hungarian Post, Lapker and MOL. Sales revenue in the first 19 weeks of 2023 was up 17%.

– How does digitalisation and the appearance of new technologies influence the lottery and betting industry, and the business model of Szerencsejáték Zrt.?

– More than 20% of our customers visit lottery shops and play online too. What is more, they actually expect us to make it possible for them to fill out their tickets in a smartphone app, and then do the actual ticket buying in a lottery shop. By autumn we are going to have an integrated sales strategy, which will offer a harmonised vision for the future for both our offline and online networks.

– How do you see the future of the lottery and betting sector in Hungary and abroad, in its past and present positions?

– Trends are changing rapidly in this industry, and we need to prepare for the new ones if we want the future to be as bright as our past was. In both Hungary and abroad, the most important task is strengthening data-driven operations. We are also improving our analytic, predictive and offer-making capabilities, so that we can do a more efficient, responsible game organising and service providing. One of this year’s related success stories is the launch of our Player Card, which was claimed by 650,000 users in just 14 months.

– What new services is Szerencsejáték Zrt. working on at the moment?

– From a commercial perspective, we are working on several projects that seek to improve the playing experience of customers. For instance buying an e-lottery ticket and e-scratch cards will become simpler from the autumn, and next year we are going to launch an app to reach the younger generations.

– What are the new directions in your commercial strategy?

– We are leaving our traditional trading approach behind. In the autumn we will be testing a mini terminal app, with which we plan to switch to modern sales technology in locations where our partners only sell scratch cards. This is a big step forward, as we are talking about nearly 3,000 points of sale.

– How did the earlier positions in your career contribute to the success of your present job?

– In the past years I had the opportunity to work at both large multinational companies and big state-owned firms, and the experience I gained there is great help today. Probably I can build on my experience from the telecommunications sector the most, where I worked for the biggest company in the domestic market.

Every year, 5.5 million players enter lottery shops

– What are your goals in your current position?

– Szerencsejáték Zrt. will be facing the types of challenges in the next few years to which the best reactions can be given with the help of sales and marketing. A couple of years ago, as the director of marketing communications, my team and I began working on the modernisation of our corporate brand and our communication. As chief commercial officer, my objective is to transform our network of retail partners in the next two years, strengthening our ties with strategic partners and SMEs alike.

The e-lottery launched in 2021 is a true success story


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