Public Gaming International July/August 2023

29 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • JULY/AUGUST 2023 Having brands that are visible across all channels and so are familiar to the whole spectrum of players will help with player adoption. Casinos are more apt to work with us when they think that we are okay with players going back and forth between lottery and casinos. If this helps the Lottery, then it is something worth pursuing.” But casinos and iGaming sites aren’t the only competition for lotteries. Drew raised the issue of social gaming and video games, which are popular among the next generation of lottery players. He asked the panel, “How do we prepare for this group and make lottery attractive to these potential new customers?” Jennifer rightly pointed out that all iLotteries currently offer social sites. “It’s called demo mode,” she said. “We have to figure out how to introduce players to demo mode and get them playing our games. Pollard is very proud of our digital studio and we have seen how our games catch on with players of all ages. All game vendors are going to have to recognize the challenge of our competition and make better games that immerse players. Keep the game mechanics simple but make sure that the play style is interesting. It’s the only way we’ll compete to attract the next group of players we hope will eventually migrate to lottery.” While Derek acknowledged that lotteries and vendors must consider what will be enjoyable for players on iLottery sites, he cautioned against straying too far from lottery fundamentals. “We want to offer games that are intuitive and easy to understand,” he said. “Most lottery games, particularly iLottery games, are simple to play. There are certainly elements that can be taken from social games and used to make iLottery games interesting to different groups of players. Making sure our games perform at a high level and provide winning experiences will, in the end, lead to the greatest chance of bringing players and driving revenue.” Drew asked the panel to think about the future. “Sometimes we are so focused on the present that we don’t adequately plan for the future,” he said. “But we all need to be looking down the road, to what changes are on the horizon. What are the threats we’re not thinking about? What are the opportunities that we’re not taking advantage of today.” Unfortunately, Kelley-Jaye became something of an expert on “threats” recently, so she hit on the need to protect sites and data. “We had a cyberattack last August which was a real shock to us,” she said. “Fortunately we were able to move quickly and shut down our systems before any damage was done. But it was an eye-opening example of how we all have to treat our websites as carefully as we treat our central systems. Mobile has to be equally as secure. Our industry is built on security and integrity and it is critical that we are aware of all possible threats and we’re ready if something happens. As more of our operations move to digital, maintaining a secure environment will be of paramount concern.” On a similar note, Jennifer said that lotteries have to move quickly to keep pace with other industries. “In this competitive world, where technology seems to be changing daily, lotteries have to able to work just as fast anyone else,” she said. “If we want to maintain our livelihood and our dominant status within the gaming space, we have to figure out how to do things better. We do so many things so well. We just need to make sure we are working as quickly as possible. Let’s look at our opportunities as the glass being half full. This is a moment when we can do even better to create more opportunities for players and the great causes lottery supports.” Brad thinks it is content changes that will mark the next era of lottery products. “We are so focused on retail scratch tickets, and rightly so because they are a critical component of lotteries’ revenue, but we should also be looking at future content and what will attract new players,” he said. “Why not use innovation to create draw game content that will appeal to the next generation of customers? The Fast Play genre has been a success but what about Powerball and Mega Millions games that can be played on demand? You can have a rolling jackpot and players can play when they want instead of having to wait for a drawing every few days. From a profitability standpoint, growing these games could have a positive impact for lotteries and be a nice complement to the scratch ticket portfolio.” Creating products that work for as many lotteries as possible can be a challenge, according to Derek, but vendors must continue to consider a number of different factors. “One of the challenges from the operator’s side is just keeping up with the speed of product requirements,” he said. “Each lottery wants different things, so for vendors, we must figure out how we create a configurable product with different features – responsible gaming, wager limits, self-exclusion. And as iLottery continues to grow, there will be a whole different set of needs. Keeping up with these changes and the pace of requirements will demand the attention of both vendors and lotteries alike. Mike struck an optimistic stance when he looks to the future. “I’m excited to see where things go over the next five years, given how much things changed during the past five years,” he said. “The Internet space can move very fast but we need to keep an eye on maintaining a secure environment and offering quality content. If a lottery provides content that disappoints the players, we could lose them to competitors. We are held to a high standard and we must work every day to earn player trust.” n iLottery: Managing iLottery for maximum growth, maximum player engagement, and maximum overall sales including retail continued from page 25 If we want to maintain our livelihood and our dominant status within the gaming space, we have to figure out how to do things better.