Virginia Lottery Plays to Win with 7-Eleven Partnership
Innovation does not always require strokes of visionary genius. In fact, this story illustrates how innovation is driven by an intelligent application of fundamental business practices. Like, we could ask ourselves how might we add value to our relationship with our retailers. To my mind, the key to what the Virginia Lottery did was to first ask that question without regard to how the answers will help us sell more lottery tickets. Then we circle back around to how to shape the answers to that question into win-win-win propositions that serve the Consumer, the Retailer, and the Lottery. The answer to that question in this case was that 7-Eleven wants to sell more food items. That answer led to a cross-promotional collaboration that benefits everyone. I know I should resist the impulse towards hyperbole, but I would submit that this Virginia Lottery initiative represents a major breakthrough; and points the way towards incredible opportunities to forge creative collaborations that could reshape the Lottery-Retailer relationship.
Gaming regulators eye popular mobile games for new gamers
Slot machines have a challenge similar to Lottery. Young people brought up on highly engaging video games want something equally as fun and stimulating when they move into the games-of-chance world. By the middle of next year, we will begin to see a new generation of slot machines that combines elements of chance with skill. Regulations for new game-styles are being developed now. Marcus Prater, the Executive Director of the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers, states "I truly believe this is the dawn of a new era for games on the casino floor".
The ongoing saga of legislators introducing bills that federalize the regulation of gambling continues. The stories in this Morning Report are self-explanatory. Let’s just hope that state governors and attorneys general will take action to prevent this usurpation of states’ rights. It is hard to imagine how these shamelessly brazen attempts to manipulate federal regulatory policy to the advantage of special interest groups (and to the detriment of charitable causes supported by Lottery) could get any traction. But miscarriage of justice has happened before, it is happening now in Europe, and so it could happen in the U.S. if nobody stands up to stop it.
It is surprising the degree to which disinformation permeates the whole dialogue about internet gambling. A few weeks ago, there was a story about how the Senior Vice President of NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) Government Relations Lyle Beckwith asserted that there is virtually no such thing as “intrastate gambling,” as it has become simple for anyone, anywhere – and any age – to play state lottery games. He writes, in part: “States looking to put their lotteries online, for example, want to pretend that this constitutes purely intrastate gambling activity, but they’re wrong. Unlike brick and mortar casinos and convenience stores that sell lottery tickets, the Internet is accessible any time, by anyone, from anywhere. Herein lies the real states’ rights problem. Say I’m in Hawaii, a state that does not allow any gambling. But all of a sudden, I can get online — apparently no matter how old I am — and play another state’s lottery from anywhere and everywhere within Hawaii. That means the state of Hawaii has lost its ability to control what gambling goes on within its borders and its citizens can gamble from home, work, the car and even church using their choice of computer, tablet or mobile phone. The rights of Hawaii and every other state in the country to limit the gambling that can be done within its borders are completely undermined by a single state offering online lottery sales.” It is shocking that such ignorance of the facts actually sees the light of day, much less becomes position statements for an organization like NACS. Nice touch, though, trying to scare people into thinking that i-gambling is about to invade the inside of our church. The trick of it is to state your position with such certitude. Gotta respect a student of that venerable Music Man, Professor Harold Hill.
The reality is literally the opposite of the scenario portrayed by Mr. Beckwith. “Prohibition” is actually just a lack of regulation. The story It’s A Fact: Online Gambling Regulation Shuts Out Offshore Sites explains why regulated jurisdictions do a much more effective job at preventing illegality than do unregulated markets where i-gambling is theoretically “prohibited”. It’s a little paradoxical, but illegal off-shore i-gambling websites target U.S. states that “prohibit” internet gambling, and they vacate regulated markets. Illegal gambling websites that were active in Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey, for instance, left those markets once these states implemented a structure to monitor and regulate the i-gambling industry. But they haven’t left the markets where i-gambling is “prohibited”. These illegal i-gambling operators are not deterred by “prohibition”, but they voluntarily leave jurisdictions where the industry is regulated. “Offshore sites have already shown a willingness to respectfully bow out of regulated states. It is time for new jurisdictions to take them up on that offer.”