As I have already mentioned my field of expertise is in poker and there are many syndicates in poker too and especially with poker tournaments where the losing runs can be long. At sites like 888poker then you have some huge fields and winning any of these events could literally be a once in a lifetime experience even for good players. So many players enter into syndicates and this helps to smooth out the losing runs.
This is why they are very popular in lotteries because they give people a chance to win big more often. If you join a syndicate with 50 people in it and each has 2 lines then you have 100 lines for every draw which means that you are 50 times more likely to win something. However this works in reverse as well of course because if you win say $1 million then that figure has to be divided by 50 and so $20,000 no longer equals a life changing sum of money.
There are risks to syndicates and the main one is trust. Can you trust all of the people to pay up on time and can you trust the person who is leading the syndicate with the money? These are questions that need to be asked and answered because we have all heard stories of people who have been caught with their proverbial hand in the till so to speak. If you can overcome the trust factor then they are a good idea in my opinion.