Public Gaming International July/August 2023

14 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • JULY/AUGUST 2023 Continued on page 25 The explosive growth of all forms of gambling – sports betting, landbased casinos, iGaming – has put U.S. lotteries in an offensive position as they look to protect their decades-earned position as providers of gaming content to their customers. This fight is critical to the mission of lotteries, as any revenue slips will mean a drop in the funds transferred to the causes they support. Preserving Lottery’s competitive position is also critical to the vast network of lottery retailers who depend on lottery sales to keep their businesses solvent. Pennsylvania Lottery Director Drew Svitko has faced these challenges firsthand over the past few years as the gambling options have increased in Pennsylvania. The lottery is now up against casinos, sports betting, iGaming, fantasy sports, horse racing, and video gaming terminals at truck stops. The lottery has countered with one of the industry’s most robust iLottery programs but it is still a struggle to compete. “With this crowded landscape, we are all fighting to break through to our customers,” he said. “The question is ‘what steps should we take to compete in this current environment and continue to attract players to the lottery?’” Kelley-Jaye Cleland, who’s lottery statutorily oversees all gambling in New Hampshire, said it is not easy to battle the deep pockets of national gambling companies. But she has an answer – good content. “I’ve stopped looking at this as iLottery content vs. sports betting and focus on what the player wants from us rather than what we want to give them,” she said. “Our iLottery demographics show a player about ten years younger than our traditional player. For Sportsbetting, the players trend more male and tend to be highly educated. We are trying to understand what they want to see and then offer that content. We can’t win the ad spend fight with the national gaming companies but we can certainly win the content battle.” Given the competitive landscape, in both iLottery states and jurisdictions that can’t sell online, Derek Levesque said analyzing what you can do and then executing on it are critical. “For states with iLottery and non-lottery competition, there needs to be a value proposition for the players,” he said. “When you look at the payouts from a few years ago, the well-defined best practice was the payout needed to be around 85-87%, and bonusing and marketing spend needed to be 7-8% of gross gaming revenue. In a hyper-competitive market, those numbers are correct. But over the past few years, we ‘ve seen that the aggressive approach isn’t necessary in states like Georgia with less competition. They have the second lowest eInstant payouts in the U.S. but they are one of the fastest growing lotteries in the industry. It’s about understanding your market before you adjust your iLottery approach. Best practices are not stationary, they have changed over the past few years as other forms of gaming P A N E L D I S C U S S I O N Following is an executive summary of a one-hour panel discussion held at the PGRI Lottery Expo Conference in Miami. Drew moderated a panel of industry veterans well-suited to handle these and other vexing questions. He was joined by: Kelley-Jaye Cleland, Chief Product & Program Officer, New Hampshire Lottery Brad Cummings, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, EQL Games Mike Lightman, Chief Commercial Officer, IWG (Instant Win Gaming) Derek Levesque, Director Business Development, IGT Jennifer Westbury, Executive Vice President, Sales & Customer Development, Pollard Banknote iLottery: Managing iLottery for maximum growth, maximum player engagement, and maximum overall sales including retail