Public Gaming International Magazine July/August 2022

22 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • JULY/AUGUST 2022 CAPITALIZING ON THE INCREDIBLE BRAND AWARENESS OF POWERBALL® AND MEGA MILLIONS® Are we undervaluing our key Lottery brands, whilst missing out on more fun and winners? If you were a sports bettor, you’d probably wager that with the billions of dollars spent on advertising sports betting brands over the past five years, those self-same sports betting brands would have greater recognition among Americans than other, more ‘traditional’ gaming sector brands. And you’d be wrong! Powerball and Mega Millions have high brand awareness In Leger’s most recent poll of 1,000 Americans in late June 2022, the major sports (NFL, NBA) come out on top at 83% awareness, with Nintendo (82%) and Sony/PlayStation (80%) sandwiching ESPN (81%). However, the 6th highest gaming brand for awareness is actually Powerball® at 76%. Powerball. Our Powerball… higher than Xbox, MLB (is it still America’s past-time?) and another very familiar brand, Mega Millions®, which comes in at a very respectable 71% awareness. And then there is a rather sizeable gap, some may say of chasm proportions, to Caesar’s (58%), and the two big spending brands in sports betting, DraftKings (51%) and FanDuel (44%) in terms of awareness. When looking at Scratch players levels, brand awareness is up across the board. NFL is 91%, Powerball and Mega Millions are both at 87%, and Draft Kings is 64%. Powerball has a similar level of trust as the NFL Leger’s research then asked those familiar with each brand, how trustworthy they find these brands. Here the console/gaming brands rose above the competition, with Sony/PlayStation, Nintendo and Steam all hitting 44% for being extremely or moderately trustworthy, followed by EA (electronic Arts). MLB and Mega Millions come in fourth and fifth at 40% each. Powerball is next with a similar level of trust as the NFL. The four lowest ‘trust’ scores can be attributed to the sports betting quartet of DraftKings, Caesars, Bet MGM and FanDuel, all 30% or below. So what does this mean for the Lottery industry? Ultimately, Lottery brands currently have a competitive advantage over the sports betting sector, in terms of both awareness and level of trust. Despite this, as more states open the doors to both sports betting and gaming online, these big threats to traditional lottery revenues will no doubt grow. ‘Home’ and ‘Fun’ go ‘hand in hand’ Two more factors play into the equation. How ‘fun’ an activity is certainly correlates to a player’s mood and openness to repeat playing. Of all the ‘gaming’ types, we asked players to rank the games that they consider ‘most fun’. Overall, there was a tie for 1st place with 22% saying ’video games on a console (PlayStation, Nintendo, Xbox, etc)’ and 22% stating ‘mobile device games’. ‘Video games on a PC’ (14%) came in 3rd, with Scratch Tickets a solid 4th with 12%. However, as you may imagine, loyalty among past year players of the key gaming sectors is rife. Among past year Scratch players, Scratch is #1 for fun (21%), with Mobile Device Games 2nd at 19%. Among past year Lottery Draw game players, Scratch is #1 for fun (21%), Console Video Games are 2nd with 16%, and Lottery Draw Games 3rd at 14%. Past year Sports Bettors prefer Console Video Games for fun (24%) over Sports Betting which is 2nd at 16%. Finally, past year Casino players have the strongest preference for fun of any segment, with 36% stating Casino slots as their most fun game, followed by Mobile Device Games 2nd at 16%. So what does this mean for Lottery? At first glance, offering Scratch games on a mobile device seems a logical step. The same can be said for online Casino platforms offering slots in the player’s hand. For Draw Games, perhaps the question is how can we make the games as fun as Scratch, Video Console or Mobile Device gaming? So, does ‘having fun’ correlate with ‘winning’? Yes, there appears to be a strong link between the two. At a national (total sample) level, Scratch tickets are #1 for best chance of winning (33%), followed by Mobile Device Games (30%). There is then a cavernous gap to Sports Betting (12%) and Casino Slots (11%) for American’s perceptions of winning. As you can imagine, recent players of the various games have a more biased view of winning for “their” games. 41% of Scratch players feel Instants give you the best chance of winning; among Sports Bettors 43% feel it’s the best chance to win and Casino players feel Slots (27%) gives them the best chance to win. Simon Jaworski, Executive Vice President Lottery & Gaming, Leger USA Continued on page 50