Tony Dimatteo, CEO of Lottery.com, the STO pioneer in US
When lottery is involved with blockchain ,how will it change the world? Tony Dimatteo, the co-founder and CEO of Lottery.com gives his answer.
Since June 2018, the Lottery.com started its first security token offering (STO).
According to its white paper, Lottery.com’s vision is to raise billions of dollars to help solve the most pressing humanitarian needs across the globe using global charitable raffles. Lottery.com is a domain leader in bringing officially sanctioned games of chance mobile.
Utilising the experience and technology of the company’s mobile lottery platform, the company aims to revolutionise legacy raffles into a blockchain based platform capable of raising billions for charities and humanitarian needs.
The project aims to solve world hunger by partnering with the UN World food program and raise approximately US$5bn through a global charity raffle where tickets cost US$25.
On his Beijing station of world tour, Tony Dimatteo shared more of Lottery.com’s story with CoinTime.
Regarding himself as an entrepreneur, Tony Dimatteo started working on technology from early. His life thesis has always been building things that should exist or that have to exist over time.He always wants to build something that has to happen.
With such belief, him and his co-founder Matt Clemenson started Lottery.com seven years ago, which was under a different name at the time.
Back then, there was no online lottery platform in US. It was all based on paper, while online lottery platform has been there already in other countries.
However,moving lottery online is not that easy as it seems. Dimatteo compared Lottery.com with Uber to show the difficulty.
“we found the legal mechanism to do that.It’s been through working with states and countries getting their formal approval before we operating it.It's very different than like Uber where Uber goes into disrupt. They come into a market, and then they ask for forgiveness after the fact. We don't do that. So we actually work with the states or the countries to get that approval. And then we entered because really you can't disrupt a lottery industry.It's the government’s game. It’s their revenue.So you just can't be disruptive.”
It took them a year to get one state to say yes to Lottery.com. Right now, Lottery.com has already accounted for thirty to forty percent of the total sales in US. It is still pushing the legitimate work state by state, and will continue to roll out over the next two years.
Moving to blockchain
Having developed for three and half years, Dimatteo lays his eyes abroad.
Right now, Lottery.com has operated the games in 40+ countries, which are all first-world countries. The company has already raised about 23 million in eduity. With globally expansion, Dimatteo started to learn about ICO, which is speculative and unregulated. Being in the highly regulated industry like lottery, Dimatteo realized that they couldn't do that.
But entrepreneurs don't quit easily. Just like bringing the paper lottery online legitimately. Dimatteo and his team did the same thing with STO, which is “wild west and unregulated” and making it legitimated. They learned about STO and spent lots of time defining what a security token would be.
“We are not the first STO, but we are the biggest brand to do one.We knew that the SEC was going to really take a look at this very closely, so we spent million of dollars in just security attorneys...We now actually believe that our STO will eventually be a case study for the SEC and help them draft new regulations around how an STO should be done.”Dimatteo said.
“We are just trying to take something a little bit gray area, a little bit wild west and make it more legitimize, which is always good for the industry,”he said.
Addiction and safety issue
Running a legitimated online lottery platform, Lottery.com has to deal with gambling addiction problem.
Dimatteo said it is important to know who the customers are when they open up the app. So every user has to give their personal information like phone number, full name, email address etc. Lottery.com has backing databases and KYC provider. If one user's confidence score is below 94%, then the company will ask for more information.
Also the platform is also paying for the gambling addiction databases to see if the users are registered in it. Being a highly regulated app,Lottery.com is looked at by the governments and regulators, “It does no good for us to have an addictive user in our platform,”Dimatteo said.
Executive editor： Emily Sun