Gregg Edgar, Executive Director, Arizona Lottery

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Gregg Edgar, Executive Director, Arizona Lottery

It is widely accepted that COVID -19 is a generational event with disruptive impacts across all industries.  The focus I believe we need to embrace is looking for the opportunity that can come from these impacts and changes.  

The question is, can we overcome the fear of failure or the paralyzing effects of what we don’t know in these moments? As a country, we have always benefitted when we were willing to take bold moves in times of adversity and embrace the opportunity to succeed in the face of fear.

At Arizona Lottery, we are looking hard at the opportunity that COVID-19 is giving us.  From the no brainer of looking at increased telecommuting to the out-of-box of redefining game development to bring cross-generational entertainment to our players and deliver on our beneficiary mission.  

There is one fundamental truth in this environment for the Lottery industry - the need has not diminished.  All of our beneficiaries’ situations have changed and not for the better.  The pressure will be even bigger to produce more revenue in public service than we have ever done.

How do we accomplish that objective?  

As we look at the impact of COVID-19 on overall lottery operations and sales, we need to look holistically at the issues we have faced and implement solutions that get to root problem-solving.  For Arizona, the story of FY20 will begin with the systemic problems in the multi-state games and culminate in the retail disruption created by the Stay Home, Stay Safe and Stay Connected Executive Order that Governor Doug Ducey issued to flatten the curve of the pandemic.   

The sales impact of our Stay Home order would be far less significant if we were not already facing a nearly 50% decline in multistate sales.  Looking to the future, we need to make changes that will have a positive impact on the Powerball and MegaMillions brands and re-engage the jackpot customer.  That likely will take a drastic retooling of those games to deliver more opportunities for wins and more sustainable jackpot runs.

Operationally, our lottery retail community has been crucial to our communities through this pandemic. In a new COVID reality, we have to find ways to improve the retail experience with Lottery.

  • Effective In-lane solutions for draw and scratch products
  • Decreasing theft through single ticket activation or hardware that gives better inventory control and security
  • Improved licensing through online tools, reduced wait times and reduced cost 
  • Improved sales analytics and data sharing 
  • New service models that give turn-key solutions for retailers

These are just a few of the tools available to care for our retail community.

Our objective for the end of our FY20 story, is to be able to say that we grew through adversity, served our community in difficult times and created foundational change to deliver more revenue in the public good into the future.