Paul’s Wall January 7
Congratulations to the two recipients of the 2013 Major Peter J. O'Connell Lottery Industry Lifetime Achievement Award.
Buddy Roogow, was appointed to the position of Executive Director of the D.C. Lottery in 2009, after having served as Executive Director of the Maryland Lottery for the previous 13 years. Under his leadership there, Maryland enjoyed 12 consecutive years of record-breaking sales. Mr. Roogow is also the president of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL).
Jimmy O’Brien, who served as the director of the Massachusetts Lottery between 1980 and 2001, probably did as much to contribute to the success of Instant Scratchers as any one person. Sales went from $54 million in 1980 to $1.6 billion in 1995 (a 30-fold increase), and continued to climb such that even today Massachussetts continues to have the highest per cap’ sales of Instant Scratchers in the world. Today, Mr. O’Brien serves as Vice President, Strategic Marketing with Scientific Games Corporation.
The dedication of these two industry leaders is complemented by talent, vision, and the leadership skills that have done much to shape the progress of the Lottery industry. The Award Ceremony will be held at 4:00 pm., Weds. April 10, in New York City at the SMART-Tech Conference.
Please join us there to honor the 2013 recipients of the Lottery Industry Lifetime Achievement Award: Mr. Buddy Roogow and Mr. Jimmy O’Brien.
Recent interviews and feedback from our conferences are pointing me in a new direction. Public and regulatory policy, management structures, internet gaming, and other big-picture themes will continue to receive editorial attention. But we will endeavor to descend a little from the 30,000 feet perspective to focus on more of the concrete operational issues that affect lotteries right now. As important as it is to “position for the long-term”, there is much that can be done right now, on an operational level, to increase net funding for lottery beneficiaries. Unlike other sectors of the gaming and gambling world, the leadership has a clear and exciting vision for the industry, sales of traditional lottery games are growing, and innovation is in the pipeline to keep it that way.
Case in point: Christophe Blanchard-Dignac is the CEO of La Francaise des Jeux, the French national lottery. The FDJ Lottery sells all the traditional games over the internet and has done so for years. Yet, in a recent interview, Mr. Blanchard-Dignac states that “Retailers accounted for 97% of sales in 2011, with 11 billion euros in bets. And this figure is steadily rising (+ 12% in two years).”
BCLC, the British Columbia Lottery, also sells all the traditional lottery products online (as well as most other i-games), and has for many years. And yet, a recent RFI from BCLC indicates that they identify the land-based retail channel as being the key sales driver for the next 15 years. (Read more about BCLC analysis of consumer trends in the next issue of the magazine which has an interview with, Kevin Gass, vice president of Lottery Gaming for BCLC). Nobody would say that digital media is not a vital component to the consumer-connection; just that the real sales and profit drivers will continue to come from traditional games sold through land-based POS’s, and improved operational effectiveness in the core business areas.