By Walt Eisele, SVP & CTO Lottery Group, Scientific Games
Since its inception in the 1700s, lottery in the U.S. has evolved significantly. In recent years, this transition has been driven by innovations in technology. As traditional players are getting older, the need to appeal to younger adult consumers and react rapidly to what new players want and expect is crucial.
While the majority of lottery games are still sold in retail and convenience stores, the digital lottery concept, or iLottery, is where the industry is experiencing the most growth. iLottery is the approach of taking a traditional printed lottery game and expanding it in the digital realm, making the playing experience interactive and more engaging. The lottery industry is using digital channels to attract a new generation of players, introducing new ways to play such as via mobile apps and loyalty programs.
iLottery is also being implemented by marrying it with retail to encourage players to enjoy lottery games via both channels. For example, a lottery app may offer an incentive for players to visit a retail store and purchase a game, and vice versa.
This idea of keeping players engaged after the initial purchase and giving them the ability to try new game entertainment is how the industry is adapting its business model to meet the modern consumer’s demand for instant gratification.
Technology is also vital to streamlining the lottery purchasing process. The goal is to make buying this popular consumer product as convenient and frictionless as possible—not just for the player but also for the retailer.
One example of how retailers are using technology for lottery purchases is Scientific Games’ SCiQ® intelligent instant game ecosystem, which tracks individual game tickets once they are sold. For the first time in the lottery industry, SCiQ offers unit-level technology that provides inventory control, security, speed-of service, merchandising and simplified accounting functions for retailers. This ensures that it’s easy for store operators to account for sold tickets accurately.
The lottery industry will continue to change as it has over the centuries, but the goal of keeping players entertained and engaged will always remain the same—as will lotteries’ mission to provide vital funding to beneficiaries like education, senior citizens and health and welfare programs.