Public Gaming International Magazine May/June 2022

28 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • MAY/JUNE 2022 PGRI INTERVIEWS Paul Jason: What are some of the hallmarks of the migration from a “Retail-First” to a “Digital-First” mentality? Alistair Boston-Smith: A couple of decades ago, it was not so much “RetailFirst” as Retail-Only, with Retail being the only channel for distributing lottery games. With the advent of the Internet, Mobile, and self-serve kiosks, the consumer has now moved a larger share of their time, their activity, and their purchases to digital channels. Consumers themselves don’t distinguish between “distributional channels”. They don’t operate in a channelized world and as such, neither should we. Rather than switching to a “Digital-First'' mentality, I propose we want to de-channelize altogether and instead, align with the way consumers think about the way they move through space, how they make their way through this world, and their transactions with merchants and brands. But isn’t digitization the key to dechannelization? A. Boston-Smith: Well, yes, of course. Player Account Management systems, Players Clubs, Loyalty Programs, and the ability to migrate from one POS to another are all supported by the digital platform. The players may play mostly on one channel or another, but their accounts are managed on the digital platform, and are accessed by the player through a user-interface that is digital, i.e. online, on Mobile, through in-store digital interfaces, bar-code reader, etc. Digital is the unifying principle that integrates all the moving parts. So the player can play at retail, or on a self-serve kiosk, or online, or on their Mobile, and know that the points they accrue will end up in one place – their digital account. They know the promotions and communiques they receive are based on the information gleaned from all their playing activity, from purchases at retail, online, self-serve, or wherever, and it’s their digital connection that enables all these benefits to enhance the overall experience. The de-channelization is a reference to the terms in which we, as brands, think. We put blockers in our own minds about the different channels that don’t exist in Digital Integration Unlocks the Power of De-Channelization Alistair Boston-Smith Chief Strategy Officer, Bede Gaming PGRI INTRODUCTION: Bede Gaming is a leading supplier of software to the lottery and online gambling industries, processing hundreds of millions of transactions per month and powering some of the sector’s biggest brands globally. Bede provides operators with cutting edge digital tools to entertain customers in a safe and engaging gaming environment. Its single-code base, API-led open architecture empowers the operator to select and implement bestin-class products and services from multiple sources, content providers, and technology partners. As part of the Gauselmann Group, Bede is an integral partner to forward-thinking lotteries whose ambitions require innovative solutions to provide a world-class experience for customers to keep them returning again and again. Integrating digital technology across all channels, media, and landbased systems and retailers is the top-of-mind mission today for lotteries and is the topic of our discussion with Alistair Boston-Smith. “Digital is the unifying principle that integrates all the moving parts.”