www.PublicGaming.com NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2023 CHAMPIONSHIP DREAMS FUELED BY COLLABORATION BETWEEN NASCAR AND POWERBALL NASCAR Powerball Playoff Champion Stephanie Walker & friend celebrate!
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© 2023 IGT. The trademarks used herein are either trademarks or registered trademarks of IGT, its affiliates or its licensors. ColorPlay is a visually captivating, player-facing brand that captures the essence of Infinity Instants games. With ColorPlay, players and retailers can quickly identify games that feature Infinity Instants’ colorful game symbols under the surface. Introducing ColorPlay™ for Infinity Instants™! $2 Scratch the entire play area to reveal 12 symbols. Reveal 3 matching symbols, win the corresponding PRIZE in the PRIZE LEGEND for that symbol. 3 SYMBOLS PRIZE PRIZE LEGEND . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$20 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$40 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$100 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $200 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$500 . . . . . . . . . . . . $2 , 000 . . . . . . . . . $30,000 c lay ar t rev l 12 symbols. Rev al 3 matching symbols, win the corresponding PRIZE in the PRIZE LEGEND for that symbol. SYMBOL P IZE VOID SHAMRCK SHAMRCK SHAMRCK RAINBOW RAINBOW LADYBUG LEPRCAN CHRRIES SEVEN HORSHOE HORSHOE DICE
4 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2023 Publisher & Chief Executive Officer Paul Jason email@example.com President Susan Jason firstname.lastname@example.org Brand and Design Dan Eggers Design Lottery Industry Consultant Jim Acton Honored Founders Doris & Duane Burke Subscriptions United States: $145 USD Canada & Mexico: $160 USD All other countries: $225 USD For email address changes, subscription requests and requests to be placed on our e-Newsletter distribution list, e-mail Susan Jason at email@example.com Contact Information PGRI, Inc. 1769 Flagstone Terrace, The Villages, FL 32162 PublicGaming.com T: +425.449.3000 F: +206.374.2600 Public Gaming International Magazine Published six times a year and distributed to readers all around the world. Electronic version is e-mailed and is also available on our news website: PublicGaming.com November/December 2023 Volume 52, Issue 6 ©2023 all rights reserved. Public Gaming Research Institute cISSN: 1042-1912 14 New Player Acquisition and Player Retention in an Increasingly Competitive Games-Of-Chance Marketplace Gretchen Corbin, President and CEO of the Georgia Lottery Jessica Fritz, Senior Manager, Digital Growth Marketing, Scientific Games Ryan Mindell, Deputy Executive Director, Texas Lottery Brian Rockey, Executive Director, Nebraska Lottery Jennifer Westbury, Executive Vice President, Sales & Customer Development, Pollard Banknote Andrea Williams, Vice President, Marketing, INTRALOT 18 The Intersection of Intelligent Systems and Lottery Drew Svitko, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Lottery Keith Cash, Vice President Global Instant Ticket Services, IGT Jacob Kreider, Senior Manager Business Intelligence, Scientific Games Mike Lightman, Chief Comm. Officer, IWG (Instant Win Gaming) Mark Mitchell, Dir. Business Intelligence & Analytics, Intralot, Inc. 22 Managing iLottery for Maximum Growth, Maximum Player Engagement and Maximum Complementarity with Other Channels Like Land-Based Retail Stephanie Weyant, Deputy Executive Director, Marketing and Products at the Pennsylvania Lottery Steve Beason, President, Digital and Sports Betting, Scientific Games Jason Lisiecki, Executive VP, Instant Win Gaming (IWG) Karri Paavilainen, Senior Director, iLottery, IGT Frank Suarez, Executive Dir., DC Office of Lottery & Gaming Bishop Woosley, Senior Lottery Consultant, Jackpocket 26 Retail Modernization and Optimization Drew Svitko, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Lottery Krista Stepa-Ammeter, Director, Sales & Marketing, Pollard Banknote Tonya Beenders, Chief Sales Officer, Missouri Lottery Max Goldstein, Vice President Sales Americas, Carmanah Signs Terry Presta, Head of Business, North America, Abacus Paul Riley, Vice President, Retail Innovation & Partnerships, IGT 28 Tested. Proven. Trusted. GLI’s mission to support the integrity and security of lotteries continues to evolve. Joseph Bunevith, Vice President, Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs, Gaming Laboratories International (GLI®) CONTENTS N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 F E A T U R E D I N T E R V I E W S A N D P A N E L D I S C U S S I O N S 14 18, 26 22 28
6 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2023 Visit Our Family Of Websites PublicGaming.com industry news & information PGRITalks.com videos of conference presentations PublicGaming.org PGRI conference information PGRIDigitalLibrary.com magazine archive of past issues PGRIDirectory.com listing of lotteries and vendors PGRIAwards.com Showcase of industry honorees recognized by the Lottery Industry Hall of Fame PGRI Lifetime Achievement Award Sharp Award for Good Causes Lottery Industry Statesman and Stateswoman Award Rebecca Paul Mentorship Award Collaboration Award Subscribe To Our Free Digital Newsletters Receive our daily newsletters at no charge, published 5 times a week to bring you the latest breaking news in the global lottery industry. Send an e-mail to: sjason@PublicGaming.com with “add to Daily Digest list” in the subject line. D E P A R T M E N T S 34 Ready, Set, Plan your 2024 Product Portfolio and Drive Maximum Returns to your Lottery’s Beneficiary Programs Scientific Games 36 Unleashing Your True iLottery Potential Rob Wesley, VP North American Customer Development and Chris Shaban, EVP Global Business & Customer Development, Neogames 38 We all use the cloud without knowing it … Paul Lawson, Chief Technology Officer, Abacus Lottery Everywhere 40 Elevating Play with Multidimensional, OmniChannel Games IGT 42 Smart portfolio management paves the way for a successful online game business, Julian Tietz, Managing Director, ZEAL Instant Games 45 To gift, or not to gift Lottery, that is the question. Simon Jaworski, Founder & CEO, Lotto Research 46 Taking Versatility to the Max. Lotteries have an opportunity as never before to meet a wide range of operational and player needs. IGT 30 Inclusion is Good for Business Brian Blake, Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, IGT 8 From the Publisher Paul Jason 10 Championship Dreams Fueled by Collaboration between NASCAR and Powerball MUSL NEWS (Multi-State Lottery Association) 30 34 36 38 10 46 F E A T U R E D A R T I C L E S
8 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2023 From the Publisher Congratulations to Cindy Polzin and the Wisconsin Lottery for hosting the Brewing the Best NASPL annual conference and trade show in Milwaukee last month; and David Gale and Team NASPL for your vision and expertise at executing these mammoth projects every year. Thank you to Sarah Taylor for your tremendous service as president of NASPL this past year, and congratulations to Cindy Polzin for your election to president of NASPL for the coming year. Susan and I conduct as many video interviews with industry leaders as we can, and post them to PGRItalks.com. They’re all between five and ten minute discussions about the future of our industry so I hope you’ll take a look. We are so excited to feature the most recent innovation of MUSL (Multi-State Lottery Association). This cover features the Powerball & NASCAR collaboration which represents the ingenuity being applied to expand awareness and playership of Powerball. The partnership is Powerball’s first with a major sports league and allows it to engage with players as the Official Lottery Game of NASCAR. The collaboration also signifies a progression in the game’s national marketing approach, which in recent years, has focused on identifying partners who can help amplify the Powerball brand by delivering unique Powerball-based content to national audiences. Congratulations to TeamMUSL for supporting the promotion, and the participating lotteries for leveraging the incredible brand value of Powerball to collaborate with other uber-brands like NASCAR to bring new consumer groups into the world of lottery for the benefit of good causes. Every issue of PGRI Magazine features a column called “MUSL News” which keeps us all up-to-date with current MUSL innovations and initiatives. You can also visit the official Powerball website at Powerball.com and the MUSL site at MUSL.com to learn more about how the MUSL membership is forging creative new ways to drive progress for the benefit of the good causes supported by government lotteries. New technology and business processes are changing the whole games-of-chance landscape. As the nexus between the communities of compliance and regulatory agents, the commercial companies which produce the products and services that enable lotteries to operate, and the lottery operators themselves - GLI occupies a singularly important role in our industry. Joe Bunevith puts things in context, helping us to make sense out of the disruption of recent years and understand the straight line that connects yesterday to today and tomorrow. How exactly is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) being applied in the realworld? What are large enterprises doing to integrate DEI into its culture and business processes? Brian Blake talks about how DEI has evolved in his experience outside the lottery industry, how its relevance is increasing going forward, and how it is being applied to at IGT for the benefit of customers as well as organizational productivity, effectiveness, and sustainable growth. Also featured are executive summaries of the panel discussions from PGRI’s Lottery Expo Nashville conference. Gretchen Corbin’s panel explored the ways in which lotteries are vying for the attention of a player who is being wooed by casinos, sports betting, and now online gambling operators. How does Team Lottery attract and retain the playership of a consumer who is experimenting with other gaming opportunities to find what she likes best? The discussion on the Intersection of Lottery and Intelligence Systems, moderated by Drew Svitko, explored the ways in which Artificial Intelligence is already being applied in Lottery as well as outside of our industry. It may seem like more hype than reality right now, but it is not too soon to understand how AI will transform every aspect business functions, the gaming industry, and our lives. iLottery is not just another channel of distribution. It is a new way to play the lottery, and a consumer touch-point with the super-power to reshape the whole playing experience and player journey. Stephanie Weyant led the discussion that translated the experience of U.S. iLottery states into the top-of-mind action-items to help those U.S. states which are new to iLottery, and those prepping to implement iLottery. The only traditional thing about “traditional” retail is that it involves real people interacting with each other in real-time. And as the face of lottery to the consumer, that will thankfully never change. Panelists discussed how digitizing the in-store shopping experience and checkout process; connecting with the shopper via new media, POS strategies, Mobile, and connecting the in-store player with the digital ecosystem is upgrading to meet the needs of the modern consumer. Thank you to Paul Lawson, Chris Shaban and Rob Wesley, Julian Tietz, Simon Jaworski, SciGames, and IGT for your fabulous editorial contributions. Our readers and I appreciate you, your vision, and your leadership. Mark your calendars for March 12 to 14 of 2024. Join us in Fort Lauderdale Florida for PGRI Smart-Tech 2024 to discuss how the Player Journey runs through Digital Lottery, PGRI’s reinvented conference experience. Paul Jason, Publisher Public Gaming International Magazine
© 2023 Scienti c Games, LLC. All rights reserved. More and more, lotteries around the world are choosing Scienti c Games’ advanced systems technology to grow their business and give their consumers the ultimate playing experience. The the Play Science Inside *Based on total instant game sales, La Fleur’s World Lottery Almanac, 2023.
10 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2023 Championship Dreams Fueled by Collaboration between NASCAR and Powerball In the middle of the Arizona desert, a championship dream fueled by NASCAR® and Powerball® came to life. In front of a sold-out crowd at Phoenix Raceway, Stephanie Walker of West Point, MS, was declared the $1 million winner and champion of the NASCAR Powerball Playoff™ – the latest national Powerball® promotion borne from its new partnership with NASCAR®. Broadcast live on NBC during the final hour leading up to the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race™ on November 5, the $1 million drawing in Victory Lane served as the grand finale of the national Powerball promotion. The event’s crescendo was Walker’s triumphant exclamation and embrace with her best friend who ran on stage to congratulate her. The winning moment has resonated with audiences universally, all of whom were moved by the Mississippi Lottery player's stroke of good fortune. “Stephanie’s victory evoked emotions in everyone who saw it and humanized the entire promotion and VIP experience for viewers,” said Drew Svitko, Powerball Product Group Chair and Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director. “It was a genuine expression of pure joy and triumph!” “This is life-changing for me and my family,” said Walker. It’s the compelling content the two entertainment titans envisioned when they first announced their partnership last February. The partnership is Powerball’s first with a major sports league and allows it to engage with players as the Official Lottery Game of NASCAR. The collaboration also signifies a progression in the game’s national marketing approach, which in recent years, has focused on identifying partners who can help amplify the Powerball brand by delivering unique Powerball-based content to national audiences. “For years, with a few exceptions, Powerball’s marketing efforts were driven largely by the advertised jackpot and varied by each lottery jurisdiction,” said Rebecca Paul, MUSL Marketing and Promotions Committee Chair and Tennessee Lottery President and CEO. “By partnering with NASCAR, we can build brand awareness for Powerball on a national level, while providing lotteries with a promotion that leverages the equity in both brands, so they can use it to engage their players on the local level.” Twenty-four lotteries participated in the NASCAR Powerball Playoff™ in its inaugural year, with lottery entry periods spanning from April to the end of July. Entry into the promotion began at the state level with participating lotteries holding second-chance drawings and contests of their choosing to form a national pool of entrants. At the end of the NASCAR regular season in August, MUSL randomly selected 16 semi-finalists from the national pool to advance to the playoff drawings – a series of elimination drawings that mirror the elimination rounds of the NASCAR Playoffs. In the NASCAR Playoffs, the top 16 drivers at the end of the regular season are eligible to compete for the championship title. After each playoff round, the bottom four drivers are eliminated until the field of eligible drivers decreases from 16 to 12 to 8 to 4. The final four drivers, known as the Championship 4, are the elite group competing for the championship title during the final race of the season at Phoenix Raceway. Likewise, the NASCAR Powerball Playoff™ started with 16 national semi-finalists. When NASCAR reduced its playoff field Drew Svitko, Anna Domoto, Stephanie Walker, Barb Niccum, Sue Dooley, Bret Toyne
11 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2023 Kyle Busch and Friends Winning Moment Winning Moment Phoenix Raceway Pace Car Ride Finalist - Hoosier Lottery - Donald Pope Victory Lane Stage
12 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2023 of drivers, Powerball reduced its playoff field of semi-finalists eligible to win the $1 million grand prize. Through a series of elimination drawings, the field of semifinalists was reduced from 16 to 12 to 8 to 4 – with the remaining four finalists winning a VIP trip for two to NASCAR Championship Weekend™ at Phoenix Raceway and entry into the $1 million drawing in Victory Lane. Cash prizes were awarded to all 16 semi-finalists based on their elimination position, ranging from $2,500 to the $1 million grand prize. “The timeline of this promotion gave us multiple opportunities throughout the year to promote the Powerball brand, even when there wasn’t a $1 billion jackpot,” said J. Bret Toyne, MUSL Executive Director. “The equity in the Powerball brand is worth much more than the advertised jackpot, and the MUSL Marketing and Promotions Committee has prioritized opportunities to grow the national presence of our flagship product.” To build that presence, Powerball embarked on its largest national advertising campaign in nearly a decade. Working with Kristin Miller, the Director of NASCAR Partnership Marketing assigned to the Powerball account, MUSL staff members reviewed a master calendar of lottery entry periods and the NASCAR race schedule to strategically pinpoint advertising efforts. Collaborating with multiple NASCAR departments and broadcast partners, the two teams set out to tell the exhilarating story of the promotion across multiple mediums, including television, radio, podcast, web and social media. To build excitement and anticipation throughout the Playoffs, the two partners treated each elimination drawing as a media event supported with full creative and a coordinated communications plan. The results of each Playoff drawing were made public during NASCAR race broadcasts on NBC and USA networks, with a customized spot that announced the advancing semi-finalists. On the digital side, new creative materials were produced for each announcement and published to Powerball and NASCAR websites and social media accounts, as well as distributed to participating lotteries to post. By the time the four finalists arrived in Phoenix for NASCAR Championship Weekend, lotteries, players and race fans had already been following the finalists’ journey to the Championship drawing for months. “Following Stephanie’s journey throughout this promotion has been exciting for all of us in Mississippi,” said Mississippi Lottery President Jeff Hewitt. “It has been a pleasure getting to know her these last several months, and we are incredibly thrilled for her big win.” While they were in Phoenix, the four finalists – who hailed from the Hoosier Lottery, Mississippi Lottery, New Mexico Lottery, and South Dakota Lottery – experienced NASCAR Championship Weekend™ as Powerball VIPs. Powerball contracted with travel partner, On Location, to oversee travel arrangements for finalists and guests to Phoenix and private transportation to and from the track each day. At Phoenix Raceway, the Powerball VIPs had exclusive access to pit row, the garages, and Victory Lane. They also had the option to view the NASCAR Championship Weekend races up-close from the track infield or above in the Ally Curve Hospitality Suite, which boasted panoramic views of the track and the foothills of the Estrella Mountains in the distance. The finalists and their guests also felt the speed of Phoenix Raceway first-hand during a pace car ride with a professional driver, many noted the ride was one of their favorite parts of the experience. Other events that added to the exclusive NASCAR experience included a guided tour inside a Trackhouse Racing hauler and a visit to the RFK Racing pit box, where finalists discussed race strategy with a pit crew member. The Powerball VIPs also had a private meet-and-greet with Cup Series driver Erik Jones inside his Legacy Motor Club hauler, in addition to numerous encounters with other VIPs, including Richard Petty, Kyle Busch, Richard Childress, and even comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish! All of these once-in-a-lifetime experiences led up to the final drawing in Victory Lane, where a championship dream collectively fueled by NASCAR and Powerball came to life. "Just like the NASCAR Playoffs, the NASCAR Powerball Playoff Championship drawing has been filled with anticipation and excitement, culminating with Stephanie Walker taking home the $1 million prize," said Michelle Byron, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Partnership Marketing. "This promotion was a perfect way to engage our loyal fans and lottery players alike, and we can’t wait to see it come to life again next year." The NASCAR Powerball Playoff™ promotion returns in 2024 with new participating lotteries. Stay tuned to Powerball.com for more information. n NASCAR® is a registered trademark of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, LLC. Copyright ©2023 National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NASCAR®, LLC is not a sponsor of this promotion.
13 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2023 Xfinity Series Championship - Finalists Chad Knaus and Finalist Phoenix Raceway RFK Racing Pit Box Tour Cup Series Trophy & Finalists
14 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2023 The term of the moment in the lottery world is “omnichannel.” For many people, this means using all the content tools available to attract and retain new players. For Gretchen Corbin, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Georgia Lottery, an omni-channel approach is critical, but it includes so much more than just games. “Is it enough to attract and retain players by just offering new games?” Gretchen asked. “Perhaps not. Having great games is the cornerstone to Lottery’s success, but we need to use all the tools available to us to engage the consumer. The omni-channel model is a critical component. That means optimizing the reach and effectiveness of all consumer touchpoints as well as your online and retail approaches. How do we cut through the noise of our competitors and reach our players? What about younger people who are so critical to lottery’s future and who might not fit into our traditional sales models and distribution and media channels? We need to make sure we provide the tools for lottery employees and retailers to create the content, in-store presence, and delivery channels that will ensure our success in the short and long-term.” Helping Gretchen tackle this important topic was a panel of industry veterans: Jessica Fritz, Senior Manager, Digital Growth Marketing, Scientific Games Ryan Mindell, Deputy Executive Director, Texas Lottery Brian Rockey, Executive Director, Nebraska Lottery Jennifer Westbury, Executive Vice President, Sales & Customer Development, Pollard Banknote Andrea Williams, Vice President, Marketing, INTRALOT Scientific Games’ Jessica Fritz emphasized that player acquisition and retention should begin with a strong digital plan. “Even without iLottery, lotteries need to put resources behind building a digital profile for their players,” she said. “The most successful iLottery programs began with a strong online presence years before lotteries were able to sell online. Digital programs can start with players simply scanning their mobile to check if tickets are winners, loyalty programs or second chance activity. As you begin to move your players online or attract new players through online initiatives, even if they can’t purchase games online yet, you are now building that connection with the player who will play your games and remain more engaged than non-digital players. Access to data about your players will inform the way you make decisions and the way you communicate directly with them which, in the end, will create a stronger relationship with your player base.” Intralot’s Andrea Williams said lotteries should focus on how their technology can attract and retain players. “We can look at player acquisition from a market perspective but it is critical that lotteries have modern technology in place so players can easily purchase products or communicate with other players,” she said. “Our systems must be nimble and easy to implement and quickly respond to players’ changing needs. A strong marketing plan is really important but it must be married to the technology side of the business for a collaborative approach to solving player needs.” Looking at how other businesses interface with customers can provide good lessons for lottery, said Pollard’s Jennifer Westbury. “I think the lottery industry should be thinking of our customers the way the banking industry thinks about its customers,” she said. “With a bank, if you withdraw money from an ATM, your account immediately reflects that transaction. Or if you go into a bank and deposit money with a teller, when you get home and log into your online account, you see that deposit. Lottery should be thinking about how we get to that model. We need one portal where players can see all their activity. Obviously as you look at it jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction, there are some limitations. But the future of the player relationship is in knowing who those players are, what they are playing now and what they want to play in the future.” Speaking as a lottery director, Nebraska’s Brian Rockey said the road to technological advancement is different for each lottery, but all lotteries are working to modernize their systems. “Some lotteries, particularly smaller lotteries like ours, P A N E L D I S C U S S I O N Following is an executive summary of a one-hour panel discussion held at the PGRI Lottery Expo Conference in Nashville New Player Acquisition and Player Retention in an Increasingly Competitive Games-Of-Chance Marketplace
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16 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2023 are slowly updating their technology,” he said. “But until this technology is in place, we work to acquire new players through ‘old-fashioned’ promotions and marketing outreach. I’ve had discussions about helping our policymakers understand the importance of modernizing lottery systems to put us on the same footing as other consumer products. Not all lotteries are equal when it comes to the tools available to reach current and potential players, but our hope is that we’re on the road to offering the same type of technology to our players that they see in other industries.” Ryan Mindell of the Texas Lottery is in a similar boat as Nebraska. “We have little data on our players as we are very limited in what we can offer digitally,” he said. “Without this information, we make sure we don’t treat any segment of the player base as monolithic. We create diversified product offerings using different price points, prize structures, playstyles and second-chance promotions that are appealing to a wide range of players. We have sufficient product in the market to appeal to diverse preferences and also make it available at locations accessible to as many people as possible.” Gretchen turned the conversation to the use of marketing and promotions to attract customers. “Traditionally, our primary mission in the lottery industry has been to create great games, make sure the consumer knows about these games through effective marketing and promotion campaigns and then provide easy access to the games,” she said. “But if the past three-plus years have shown us anything, it is that the business of acquiring and retaining customers has changed, probably for good. People’s purchasing habits and even lifestyles have changed, where they work has evolved, and these changes are reshaping shopping behaviors. Let’s explore that.” Jessica rightly pointed out that the past three years have seemed like a lifetime for the lottery industry and change has accelerated. “Suddenly, there’s more focus on self-service, on ‘touchless’ purchase of lottery products,” she said. “For iLottery jurisdictions, the primary changes have been using predictive analysis more than previously. An example is how we identify players before they lapse so the lottery can more easily keep them as active customers. The metrics we are provided by their online activities can help us create personalized marketing campaigns for different segments, with the end result being a stronger relationship with players.” As more lotteries build out their digital footprint, Andrea said there will be additional opportunities to communicate with them and entice them to play a variety of games. “More lotteries are adding multivertical portals which feature a variety of lottery content,” she said. “Some even offer sports betting and casinos. It’s important to communicate with all these players. For iLottery, how do we ensure that our technology allows us to cross-sell different price-points and different play-types? If someone is on a site to place a sports bet, you want to have the capability to send them a message about a sports-related lottery game. And then we have collected data that says this player is a sports fan and we can use that for future promotions.” On the subject of launching promotions, Brian was pragmatic. “Whatever we can afford,” he said, only somewhat kidding. “We try and develop partnerships with recognizable brands, we support tourism in the state, and we stretch to get our message into the community. Without a strong digital platform, we don’t know how much these programs attract new players, but our feeling is that we are able to reach different groups of customers and non-customers. We do a lot of segmentation research so we know what interests certain types of players. This then informs our promotions. But many of these promotions are designed to marry lottery with brands that are going to attract consumers to the lottery.” Pollard has found great success with the Frogger brand, and Jennifer said that taking a page from the video game industry could be useful to lotteries. “Many lotteries have games available through a variety of devices,” she said. “The younger player is also playing video games and our colleagues in the eInstant studio tell me that games have to load in six seconds or less or we lose the players. This type of information is critical for the lottery industry to understand as we seek out new players and create gaming experiences for players who are also video game players. Not surprisingly, our data confirms that we lose players if they don’t have an enjoyable experience, and that includes the opportunity to win money. If we marry our lottery knowledge with the experiences players have with video games, we can better develop games and promotions for current and future lottery players.” The panel discussion wrapped up with the topic of actionable items or, as Gretchen put it, “where the rubber hits the road.” “All of us are looking for pioneering new directions in which to take lottery to connect with our players and new consumer groups,” she said. “New promotions, relationships with key brands, point of sale material, distribution strategies. Consumers can be fickle. We have many consumers who are committed to our products but others who are a little harder to reach. For those, what are the best strategies to attract and retain them?” Ryan provided the example of the Texas Lottery’s long-time relationship with the Dallas Cowboys. “The Cowboys were ‘America’s Team’ because they were the best in branding for so many years,” he said. “Our relationship with the Cowboys has provided us with a major boost, particularly considering how little we can spend on advertising. It starts with our second chance program and the incredible experiential prizes we offer. Players can win the opportunity to be in the draft room with (Cowboys owner, president and general manager) Jerry Jones, and that is something even non-lottery players have told us they want to win. We’re tapping into the passion of Texas residents, whether they have played lottery or not. And that’s how you attract new players. “We have offered a $100 ticket for a number of years and it has really created a buzz among a certain segment of players,” Ryan continued. “We know there are players who only buy that particular ticket because of the value proposition. Having these diverse options allows you to attract players from across the spectrum. My advice to lotteries is to not be afraid to try something new because you just might be surprised by how your players are going to react. We need to stay relevant in a changing environment, making sure we’re out there trying new things to get in front of as many people as possible. The players will tell you what they like. If you’re responsive to their feedback, you’ll see the results in new players and, we all hope, increased sales.” Jennifer said that while much attention is being paid to digital, it is at retail where most of the new players will be created. “Most of the challenges we face at retail are Continued on page 33
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18 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2023 Why you Soon Won’t Be Able to Avoid AI – At Work or At Home Wall Street Journal Will U.S. states figure out how to regulate AI before the feds? Fortune AI girlfriends imperil generation of young men CNN The headlines are inescapable. Artificial Intelligence has become THE topic of 2023. Debates rage about its benefits/negatives as well as the future for this possibly lifealtering technology. Count lottery as another industry taking a careful look at AI and how it might impact game creation and delivery to players. Tackling this critical topic was a panel of experts on the lottery and vendor sides of the business whose core missions are likely to experience fundamental changes depending on where and how this technology is adopted and deployed. Panel moderator Drew Svitko, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Lottery, framed some of the issues and goals of the panel discussion. “Some of you might be thinking ‘why should I care about AI,’” he said. “Some of you might still be figuring out how to get your VCR clock to stop blinking and if that’s you, this might not be of help to you. But for some others, we hope this panel will provide a better idea of what AI is and how it’s already influencing our lives and businesses.” Joining Drew on the panel: Keith Cash, Vice President Global Instant Ticket Services, IGT Jacob Kreider, Senior Manager Business Intelligence, Scientific Games Mike Lightman, Chief Commercial Officer, IWG (Instant Win Gaming) Mark Mitchell, Director Business Intelligence and Analytics, Intralot, Inc. Jacob Kreider, who studied AI in graduate school at Northwestern University, provided some context to begin to understand the broad topic of AI and its subsets. “There are three things that make up intelligent systems,” he said. “There’s advanced data modeling, machine learning, and AI. Advanced data modeling has a lot of human input into how a problem is solved as the human decides what data is important and what approach to take. Machine learning is a subset of AI, as all machine learning is a type of AI but not all AI is a type of machine learning. Here, you define your end goal and feed in the data you think is important. AI is much different in that you give it a goal and let the system decide the best way to meet your goal, with very little instruction otherwise. It figures out the model to use, the approach to take, and what parameters are important. It’s still important to remember that you can’t completely remove the human because the human frames the questions and sets the goals, but AI does everything else.” With Jacob’s description of what AI is and is not in place, Drew asked the panelists to discuss how AI is being used in lottery. Mark Mitchell, who oversees this area for Intralot, pointed out that AI has actually been in use in the lottery industry for a number of years. “When you consider how a lottery receives notification of the need to refill a product before it actually runs out, or how to schedule the automatic delivery of products from a certain facility, these are actions driven by AI,” he said. “One reason AI is such a big topic now is because of ChatGPT. But AI has been in use by many different industries, including lottery, for many years. Its efficacy has been constantly improving, and the rate of improvement seems to be taking off exponentially. So I think we can expect a rapid expansion of its use in the lottery industry over the next few years.” As Mark observes, ChatGPT has led most of the discussions about AI. ChatGPT has been defined as a natural language processing tool driven by AI technology that allows you to have human-like conversations with the chatbot. The language model can answer questions and assist you with tasks, such as composing emails, writing essays, and even writing software code. ChatGPT was created by OpenAI, an AI and P A N E L D I S C U S S I O N Following is an executive summary of a one-hour panel discussion held at the PGRI Lottery Expo Conference in Nashville The Intersection of Intelligent Systems and Lottery Mark Mitchell Keith Cash Mike Lightman Jacob Kreider Drew Svitko
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20 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2023 research company (50% owned by Microsoft) and launched in November of 2022. IWG’s Mike Lightman said that, like many of us, he went from having a casual interest in ChatGPT to wondering how it can be incorporated into different parts of his life. “I’ve used ChatGPT for everything from answering standard questions to creating an outline of an RFP for eInstants, getting very specific to lottery,” he said. “And I was amazed that it did a decent job while also missing a few of the nuances of the lottery industry. There are now tools being offered that will allow people in professional jobs to get a head start on many of our daily tasks. For example, press releases. There are programs where you can feed it past press releases and it will create a first draft of a new press release. Fireflies is a notetaking program that will produce a good summary of what was said in a meeting. As professionals, we might want to start interacting with these technologies, particularly given that many of our competitors will be using them. And business leaders will probably want to be comfortable with these technologies before asking their employees to utilize them in their daily tasks.” Keith Cash said that it is the data that will drive IGT’s use of AI — with the company’s Player Data Platform being the AI tool that allows customers to derive insights from that data. “While we certainly have a lot of data on all aspects of this industry, iLottery probably leads the way because the nature of the transaction is that it can be digitally captured and recorded,” he said. “Data from previously anonymous retail-player transactions, including purchases of physical scratch tickets, can also be captured via the company’s OMNIA solution, according to Keith. If we load this data into a system, we can find patterns of play that would likely have been missed if you relied on traditional tools of demographic segmentation, instead of looking at how players actually play games. On top of that, you add tools that allow everyone, even a non-technical person, to query that data and drill down to produce more granular, accurate, and usable game information. AI can certainly help us in three important areas – develop better products, improve consumer engagement, and create efficiencies. While it’s in the early stages, AI is already helping us and our customers in all three areas.” Drew then asked how lotteries and vendors are using AI today and ways we can use it in the future. Mark said that Intralot has been using some form of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for many years and its utility is increasing with every new technological breakthrough. “Whether you’re in advertising, sales, procurement, tech support, AI is there as a ‘secondary colleague’ or co-pilot to help support you in your mission,” he said. “With the proper use, something like ChatGPT can help you start your project a third or more way through, instead of starting from scratch. This increases productivity and allows employees to focus on the most important tasks. AI won’t necessarily replace employees, it will make us all more efficient and allow us to concentrate on initiatives that are best for our customers and our employer.” Jacob said that while many have been using AI for a few years (and perhaps didn’t know it), deploying it to influence decisions materially has taken a bit longer. “Microsoft Word has been predicting the rest of our sentences for a while and it’s getting better at doing it,” he said. “But using AI to create a marketing plan or improve supply logistics is still a work in progress. It is being applied in ways that may appear to be slow, but it will seem to be sudden when we look back and realize how much has changed, and how much is being affected by AI. For the foreseeable future, AI will work in the background. But when the pivot happens and it becomes a part of everyday lives, AI will be at the forefront of how we interact with customers and how players interact with our products.” Drew turned the conversation to the negatives associated with AI. “There are many people who fear losing their jobs to AI, and who can blame them when we see headlines about machines replacing people,” he said. “It seems as though it is the responsibility of leaders to prepare the workforce for what is coming. Once we prepare our workforce, we can better explain the future of AI and its impact on lottery to our customers.” Mike said we should all be working with our workforces to lean into the new technology. “We need to encourage people to be inquisitive, learn, stay up to date,” he said. “You also want them to be a bit cautious, not just download free software because it’s free. Allowing your employees to try the different tools available to them will only help them become more comfortable with AI. If you’re writing a document for the first time, give one of the tools a try. You can see firsthand what it does well, or not well, and where it needs improvement. It can only help your own development and the development of your business.” The issue of impact on workforces is an emotional one and it must be dealt with carefully, according to Jacob. “We’ve all been through moments when the way work has been done for many years has been challenged and causes concerns amongst employees,” he said. “Email conversations slowly replaced telephone calls, and then people who texted their whole lives were forced to use email. Not easy changes. Now younger employees come in who are already familiar with the new technology and can navigate between the legacy and modern systems. Smoothing these transitions is all about preparing your employees and getting people to think about AI as something they can actually use in their day-to-day lives. This technology is new, it’s emerging, and it’s fantastic. As long as you can get people to be inquisitive and understand that this technology is a ‘helper technology’ and not a replacement, not a substitute technology, the transition will be much smoother.” Mark added, “If you can show your employees that a 30-minute exercise can become a 5-minute exercise, they will understand that they now have 25 minutes to do something else. Small wins are important. We can let people know that things are going to be done differently through incremental changes. Show them how and why new technology is better for them, how it improves the business and produces more value for the customers.” Drew steered the conversation to the less technical things humans have historically done in the workplace. “We need to look at specialties like marketing, research, proposal writing and responses, customer service, and how AI is impacting these types of positions that don’t necessarily involve technology,” he said. “Perhaps AI can help with all these things and more, but someone is always going to have to check the work before it is released or published. Isn’t that what ensures humans are going to continue to have a role in most decisions?” Jacob said this point is exactly why AI will always have limitations. “There are things that I believe AI will never replace and that includes customer service,” he said. “Consider a lottery’s interaction with its retailers, how retailer portals are used to recruit them and help them with their goals. AI can help personalize the initial interactions and fact-finding and serve as a
21 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2023 PGRI Sept Ad V7.2.1_4PRINT_082523.ai 1 8/25/2023 5:40:19 PM conversation starter. But eventually, there needs to be a personal touch. AI will never replace the most important part of the interaction with retailers and that is a real human who cares about your business, who understands their challenges and goals, and has a shared incentive to get them to their goals. The person-to-person contact is important for lotteries and helps them keep on the pulse of what is happening in their state. This is where AI is an enabling helper technology and not a substitute for a person who can meet with lottery retailers face-to-face.” Mike said that AI will certainly impact the customer service process. “We have all had the frustration of calling customer service and getting a different answer depending on who answers the phone,” he said. “With AI, there will be a consistency resulting from a shared knowledge base and the same level of suggestions and prompts on how to respond to a question. It can still be a human talking with the customer, but they are using AI to get answers that remain consistent no matter who that person is talking with. The machine will not replace humans for some of these important interpersonal interactions. We will always need a human because even with all the recommendations, someone has to make a final decision based on their judgement. That is the human part that will remain so important.” And getting “your humans” ready is critical, said Mark. “AI is already a part of our lives and its impact will only grow,” he said. “But we need to prepare employees for this inevitability and understand that there is uncertainty that comes with this new technology. The questions will be as basic as ‘is my job going away’? Let’s identify ‘champions’ within our organizations who can communicate what AI is, what it isn’t, and what are the strategies the organization will implement for use of AI. We know that all companies are thinking about AI and the lottery industry is taking it seriously. Embracing the technology is the first step towards helping employees better understand how it will help their daily work lives.” Keith said that weighing the pros and cons of the technology is critical before making hard decisions. “We know that AI is not taking days off or calling in sick, so comparisons between technology and humans are not equal on a cost basis,” he said. “But we have to be very careful about making decisions with costs as the leading qualifier. Our industry is still only as good as the people who are making the decisions and interacting with lotteries, retailers, and players. The technology is moving fast, but speed to market doesn’t mean something is a great solution. And when it comes to AI, we need to take the time and make sure the technology we are building makes the most sense for employees and customers.” Jacob closed the discussion by suggesting that no matter what AI initiatives an organization ultimately makes, it needs to act responsibly. “At the end of the day, AI is allowing a computer to think like a human, learn from its mistakes, alter its code, and alter the way it approaches things without human input,” he said. “That might fundamentally feel like a threat to many people. But if we can show how AI can contribute to solutions to otherwise daunting problems, how society benefits from AI, and how negative impacts can be mitigated, people may feel more encouraged and even inspired by the potential for AI to make this world a better place. AI is trying to mimic human cognition, not replace it. And in the end, that will hopefully benefit everyone.” n
22 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2023 When Stephanie Weyant, Deputy Executive Director, Marketing and Products at the Pennsylvania Lottery, hears that the future of lottery is with artificial intelligence or machine learning or improved consumer experiences, she knows firsthand that at her lottery, the future is NOW. All these technologies are currently being deployed today in the service of iLottery - and with great success as Pennsylvania boasts one of the largest iLottery programs in the world. But with the number of states offering iLottery still at 11, there is much room to grow. Stephanie’s goal with this panel was to make sure that all lotteries can learn something from those who have years of experience with iLottery and work towards a future that includes this important sales tool. Joining Stephanie were: Steve Beason, President, Digital and Sports Betting, Scientific Games Jason Lisiecki, Executive Vice President, Instant Win Gaming (IWG) Karri Paavilainen, Senior Director, iLottery, IGT Frank Suarez, Executive Director, DC Office of Lottery & Gaming Bishop Woosley, Senior Lottery Consultant, Jackpocket Stephanie’s goal for the panel was to provide something for everyone. “For the states that are currently offering iLottery, like Pennsylvania, we are looking at ways to manage the product for maximum growth, player engagement and integration with land-based retail,” she said. “But even non-iLottery states are looking at some of these same issues. Most lotteries offer some type of digital component – app, loyalty program, players club. And the high jackpot runs have enabled many lotteries to increase the pool of players engaging with them through these avenues. For iLottery states, once we have attracted these new players, we want to convert them to digital players, not to supplant their play at retail but to augment and enhance their play at retail stores. Let’s look at some of the best strategies for doing that.” DC Lottery’s Frank Suarez, who also served as CMO at the North Carolina Lottery (another iLottery state), said player outreach never ends. “The high jackpot runs are really beneficial for attracting new players, but making people aware that they can actually buy a ticket online is still a big challenge for us,” he said. “Once we have a player with a registered account, our CRM kicks in with promotions that lead the player to eInstant games that are more jackpot themed and eventually introduce them to other types of games. The initial promotions are simple – spend $50, get $25 on a specific type of eInstant games. Our conversion rate is about 65% for these types of promotions so they have been working well for us. From there, we do a lot of segmentation to identify who hasn’t come back after the jackpot runs and provide them with incentives to return.” IGT runs the digital platforms for several lotteries and Karri Paavilainen agreed that jackpot runs lead to large numbers of new players. “One issue is that they are ‘slippery’ players in that it is challenging to keep them after the jackpot runs end,” he said. “In fact, the retention rate of your average jackpot player is one-third that of a regular player. It is key that once jackpot players are on the platform, that lotteries build more engagement. The optimal time to present new players with an eInstant offer is when their online wallet is open and they are engaged in making draw game transactions. Present them with an eInstant offer. We have seen these types of offers really work and lead to future play. Ongoing communication will keep the player engaged and continuing to purchase through the platform.” Representing the lottery courier Jackpocket, Bishop Woosley said player attraction and retention is similar in the P A N E L D I S C U S S I O N Following is an executive summary of a one-hour panel discussion held at the PGRI Lottery Expo Conference in Nashville Managing iLottery for Maximum Growth, Maximum Player Engagement and Maximum Complementarity with Other Channels Like Land-Based Retail “The real benefit of omni-channel begins when lotteries create managed player relationships across all the channels.”publicgaming.com