PUBLIC GAMING INTERVIEWS Kevin Anderson, Vice President International Business Development, EMEA Scientific Games Corporation


Optimizing Instants in the Digital Age

PGRI Introduction: In his 35-year career in the lottery and gaming industry, Kevin Anderson has covered a great deal of ground both professionally and geographically. As vice president of sales and business development internationally for Scientific Games, he now oversees instant game sales for Europe, Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. Kevin has also served as global head of sports betting for the company. Fluent in five languages, he has managed lotteries in Latin America, spent six years in Greece running sports betting for OPAP, and led Scientific Games’ joint venture with Française des Jeux in France. With European Lotteries Industry Days 2018 in Prague approaching, we caught up with Kevin in his travels to talk about the untapped potential for instant games to drive growth in Europe and other markets around the world – as well as the cross-channel relationship between land-based retail and digital.

What are some interesting and/or important trend lines for instant ‘scratch-off’ games?

Kevin Anderson: New instant games and marketing strategies generally originate in the U.S., so the European instant games market tends to mirror the U.S. Initial game ideation, market analyses, and strategic planning templates also emanate from the U.S. Europe enjoys the benefit of observing how new products and strategies incubate in the U.S., learning from the experience, avoiding miss-steps, and capitalizing on successes. Of course, every market is unique. There are more commonalities to markets and consumer behavior than there are differences, but it is vital that we identify the attributes of each individual market that make it special. At Scientific Games, a large part of our R&D goes towards deconstructing and analyzing the component parts that add up to a successful product or strategy, clarifying which attributes are transferable to other markets, and modifying any attributes that need to be customized for optimal success in an individual market.

Scientific Games is often the driver of game development in Europe just as we are in the U.S. Our 360-degree view of how games and strategies perform everywhere in the world informs our entire approach. But all markets are local, and it is the analytical tools we apply to integrate local game cultures and the attributes unique to the individual market and to the political and regulatory climate that drive successful product launches, marketing campaigns and business operations. Those customers that apply these proven methodologies are driving growth in their instants category.

What are some of the specific trends or methods of operation that have traction in all markets? K. Anderson: The performance of individual games is less relevant than driving results for the entire category. We deploy a family of products that appeals to the broadest range of consumer tastes, and we apply creative strategies that would not work as well if each product were evaluated in isolation. For instance, we invented what we call ‘spike games’ to serve a highly specific purpose. These games are not expected to have enduring appeal and wouldn’t necessarily index as high as others. They are novelty games that get shoppers’ attention, spike demand for a short period of time, and draw attention to the whole product category.


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