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age. Of course, that’s great for us since it

also promotes Lottery and so it is an effort

that we are actively working to improve.

You are a supporter of multi-jurisdictional

collaboration to build an API. How will

API’s help individual U.S. lotteries?

G. Gurney:

API’s have the potential

to reduce costs and time to market. Most

lotteries already apply API technologies

internally to enable the seamless transfer

of data. We need to now work together

to establish multi-jurisdictional protocols

for a variety of needs. Interfacing with

multi-state corporate accounts/

retailers may be the most criti-

cal, and the most easily under-

stood. Multi-state retailers need

lotteries to create standardized

programs so that they do not

have to interface with multiple

varied software and data trans-

fer programs like they do now.

Presently, these multi-state re-

tailers need to create different

sets of procedures for interfac-

ing, sending and receiving data,

with each individual lottery. It

is very inefficient. We need to

develop the API’s that enable

us to provide the most seamless

data transfer across all jurisdictions. That

means collaborating to build the API that

provides one standard with which the re-

tailers can connect.

There are different ways to enable ma-

jor retailers to access the data. I think the

way to start is get a pilot program going.

Something simple that would enable the

multi-jurisdiction retailer to start getting

certain reports and information the same

way from multiple jurisdictions. Then we

can build from that foundation as we ac-

quire the knowledge and competencies to

develop API applications. Instead of trying

to implement an API that would be robust

and comprehensive enough to address all

the things we know need to be done, we

need a way to prove that it works, and

demonstrate the benefits to both Lottery

and retailers. We need to build consensus

and a collaborative process that includes all

stakeholders, including the vendor com-

munity, the lotteries, and the retail chains.

APIs are not new to big box retailers. API’s

are already in extensive use by these large en-

terprises. Every individual lottery will ben-

efit by enabling the large retailer chains to

do business with us. We all know that, but

we need to think nationally. The investment

in building the API would pay off huge in

terms of sales and net funds to good causes.

Development costs are an obstacle. But the

benefits, the ROI on those costs, are pro-

found. So we need to figure it out together.

The API involves a lot more than just

sales data. We need to start with a pilot pro-

gram, but we also need to realize that the

long game of an API includes a wide vari-

ety of applications, many of which may not

even be known to us right now. What we do

know now is that we need to have a secure

way to transact data with multi-jurisdiction-

al organizations. Thinking about the entire

lottery business model and process, API’s are

truly a vital step to unlocking the full po-

tential for Lottery to serve its stakeholders.

Perhaps the best way to start is to collaborate

with a multi-jurisdictional retailer to build

the API pilot that meets their specific needs.

We need a smaller-scale pilot program to

manage costs and enable everyone to embrace

the project. But shouldn’t the more ambitious

long-term applications of the API be baked

into the process from the beginning?

G. Gurney:

Yes, but a pilot program is

necessary to ensure that the time and re-

sources invested in the API include the fea-

tures that are relevant. The pilot will mini-

mize the costs of adjustments that are likely

to be needed along the way. Of course,

the whole process should be implemented

with a view toward the end result of a fully

featured API. And to do that, we need the

active participation of all lottery stakehold-

ers, and definitely including our retail part-

ners. If we can provide them relevant and

consistent data, they can then easily con-

vert the data forms to whatever

works best for them. Since the

retailers already interface with

other CPG supplier API’s, Lot-

tery will benefit by the input and

guidance of our retail partners.

So implementing an API that re-

quires multiple lottery jurisdictions

to agree to common standards and

protocols is very do-able. There are

no intractable obstacles to making

this happen?

G. Gurney:

If we say we can-

not go forward unless we have the

agreement of every jurisdiction in

the United States, it’s never going

to happen. I would add that, from an oper-

ations perspective, if we never did anything

in the New York Lottery until it was perfect,

we never would have launched anything.

Why did Cash4Life start with only two

states, New York and New Jersey? Because

we couldn’t get others to agree and commit

their limited resources of staff and time.

Now there are seven states in Cash4Life.

And I think the expansion of Cash4Life into

multiple states prompted further expansion

of the Lucky-for-Life into even more states.

(Cash4Life and Lucky-for-Life are almost

identical games, the main difference being

the prize payout percentage.) Once people

see the benefits proven out in the market

place, they want to jump on board. We just

need to get that traction going for the API.

Start with a handful of state lotteries and

expand from there.

The investment in building the

API would pay off huge

in terms of sales and net funds

to good causes.

Development costs are an

obstacle. But the benefits,

the ROI on those costs,

are profound. So we need to

figure it out together.