Public Gaming International July/August 2023

37 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • JULY/AUGUST 2023 and merchandizing standards — enabling retailers to identify and expand the most effective standards to more states. With the inclusion of five more jurisdictions this year, the RMI database will now include lottery sales representing about 88% of the U.S. population. A recent roundtable of RMI experts from IGT explored a range of topics around the use of this unique industry tool: Q. RMI fills an obvious need for retailers, who can now obtain data on the category that was always missing from their existing databases. But what drives RMI participation for lotteries? Paul Riley: The lottery business is databased, and it’s a relatively mature industry. Lotteries are looking for an additional edge, and RMI offers that: You get more data, you're getting a holistic view, and you have the means to do more extensive and comprehensive comparison analysis. NatWorley: What came through very clearly from a recent user-group conversation was that, in addition to the retailer chains themselves, the committed users are often the lotteries’ corporate account sales managers. They really saw the value in facilitating conversations with the category managers or regional directors for the chains. Steve Desautels: One of the things that we’ve added to RMI over the past couple of years — and continue adding to — are consolidated performance reports for several of the top 20 chains. When an RMI partner-lottery, or one that is considering it, sees the amount of information that this provides on a top retail chain — as far as the key performance indicators for their jurisdiction and other jurisdictions with the same retailer — they see the value. It opens their eyes to opportunities that may exist, because typically they can only see what the retailers are doing in their own jurisdiction. Gina Easley: A good example is with the world’s largest retailer. We've been onboarding that retailer since 2019, starting with a large number of states. And to see that ramp-up rate for each of the jurisdictions — and for all of the jurisdictions to be able to see the performance across the board, including the number of vending units and average weekly sales information — it's really been helpful, especially for the new states that will be onboarding soon. What are currently the biggest challenges to lotteries, and how can RMI help? Riley: I think there are probably as many different challenges as there are lotteries: retail transformation, competition from other forms of gaming, jackpot fatigue — the list goes on. But in my view, the value of RMI data is that it allows lotteries to form hypotheses, and with the right query you can leverage RMI to do an analysis of the particular challenge you're trying to address. It gives you that root objectivity of data-based analysis to inform your decision making. Worley: One of the biggest challenges that RMI can help lotteries directly address is, How are we going to keep growing sustainably? — given that there are many things they have already thought to do, and there are some structural challenges, like the quantity of retailers in most states declining over time. How do you keep distribution up? How do you keep growing transfers to beneficiaries when you've had meteoric sales over the past two and a half years? And one of the best ways to do that is to see within the universe of retailers — some of which are similar, some of which are Data Is Power The Retail Market Insights® (RMI) tool provides valuable data and reporting on lottery sales for about 88% of the U.S. population. With RMI’s single, chain-wide view of the lottery category, both retailer and lottery decision makers can analyze performance trends and make targeted refinements to achieve their sales goals. RMI data includes 1,450 national and local retail chains with five or more locations