Published: June 25, 2024

Agility Drives Success of Poland’s Latest Omnichannel Launch

In Poland, where the national lottery’s mission is to sustainably generate returns to benefit sport and culture in the country, Totalizator Sportowy (TS) took a novel approach in developing and launching an omnichannel experience with its 2023 Christmas-themed game, Kasa od Mikołaja. In addition, TS supported the launch with a new type of promotion at retail to raise awareness of the game and the different gameplay possibilities.

The strong results attest to how agility – and fresh thinking about the interplay between channels – can ultimately expand lottery consumer enjoyment, awareness, and convenience. After 30 days, the omnichannel launch proved to be hugely successful in both the retail and digital channels:

  • At retail, players purchased more than 70% of the 4.5 million tickets within 30 days – one of the quickest selling TS launches ever.
  • The eInstant version of Kasa od Mikołaja was a record-breaker – the best eInstant game launched in Poland to date – with 9% higher sales in the first 30 days than the previous best selling eInstants game.
  • The number of active players in the digital channel increased by 14% compared to the previous period –  a level of engagement that has been sustained in the months following the game’s release.

The details of this program offer ideas for adaptation by other lotteries:

From eInstant to Printed Game

One common path to developing a multichannel experience is to start with a popular retail scratch game and adapt the game art and mechanics for online play. However, in planning the 2023 Christmas game, Totalizator Sportowy took a different route: The Lottery worked with longtime collaborator IGT to customize a forthcoming holiday game from IGT’s eInstant portfolio. A retail scratch game was modeled on the eInstant, and both versions of the game launched simultaneously.

Back in Q1 of last year, when IGT’s Sebastian Meitz, iLottery Account Development Director, shared with TS a preview of a holiday-themed, symbol-collect eInstant game in development, only the name of TS’s 2023 Christmas game had been agreed upon and approved. The Lottery was still considering options for the game itself. “The graphics and symbols in IGT’s new eInstant game immediately stood out,” said Mateusz Warpas, Head of Online Offer Team, Totalizator Sportowy. “There was a unique charm to the art and the animation, and the theme was directly relevant to the name we were planning to use.”

According to IGT Game Producer Becka McFarland, who managed the development of the eInstant game from concept to final form, credit for its visual appeal goes to Dave Hall, IGT Game Artist, who has illustrated so many holiday-themed eInstants that he’s known as the studio’s “Christmas guy.” Hall’s inspiration was “to do a Christmas game in a way he hadn’t done it before.” Watch a demo of the eInstant game Watch here 

With the roadmap already in place for the eInstant channel, and a shared feeling from TS that the game would also work nicely as a printed retail product, IGT teams went to work customizing the logo, language, currency, and other aspects of the game for the local market.

For the eInstant game, sold at seven price points, an animator had an idea to create “grotto doors” that open to access the bonus game and then close to take players back to the main game to finish play.   

The retail scratch game, sold at the 5 zloty price point, is not a replica, but has similar look and feel, with slightly different game mechanics,” said Ewa Ulicz, IGT Marketing and Product Development Director.   Lottery_EL_Spring_Omnichannel_Santas_Treasure_Paragraph-Image_202404_R01 - update.jpg

Click here to experience a demo of Totalizator Sportowy’s retail instant ticket.

The new Kasa od Mikołaja games launched at retail and online on November 30, 2023. Promotional Agility

TS has sold draw-based games online since December 2018 and introduced eInstants – branded in Poland as Gierki – in December 2020. After a series of launches in 2022 and ’23, the Lottery now offers more than 50 eInstant games, and sales in the online channel show increased average spend.

Yet, among the large population of people in the country who play lottery, retail instant tickets have long been the #1 lottery product, and many consumers remained unaware of how lottery games could be experienced in the online channel.

For the first time, TS included a QR code on the face of the 4.5 million Kasa od Mikołaja scratch tickets, along with the Lottery’s website URL, informing consumers that the game could also be played there. Upon scanning the code, players were taken to a landing page where they could explore and play, and obtain information about both the retail and online versions of the game.

The Lottery also elected to include the QR code on the terminal-generated tickets for selected draw-based games ─ the first time the Lottery has advertised an eInstant/Gierki game on terminal-generated tickets.

At IGT’s suggestion, the Lottery repeated the QR promotion over the Christmas period, before much of the country’s retail network shut down for the holiday. With retail points of sale closed, interested players could still acquaint themselves with the games and play online if they chose. ”We’ve analyzed it and believe there’s room to improve the deployment of the QR code in the future. But for those who used the QR code to reach the landing page, the click-through rate was 38%, which is very high.” sebastian.png

Sebastian Meitz, IGT iLottery Account Development Director

  Serving and Managing Player Relationships

Totalizator Sportowy sees the value to players in offering an omnichannel experience. “Given the success of Kasa od Mikołaja, we feel it’s not the only omnichannel launch we’ll do,” said Maciej Kasprzak, General Manager of the Online Business Line, Totalizator Sportowy. “The retail channel here in Poland is about six times larger than the online channel, but we can continue to build a common approach for the channels to work together.”

This accords with a recent observation by Karri Paavilainen, IGT Vice President iLottery Products and Services, who noted that across the industry, “iLottery used to be thought of as a separate, isolated sales channel. This is now converging more toward viewing digital as a platform to serve and manage player relationships across retail and digital channels. Lotteries can employ the technological advances to provide highly personalized digital product and service experiences.”

Through the many ways Totalizator Sportowy demonstrated agility by offering Kasa od Mikołaja in both the retail and digital channels, it has already raised awareness of new play experiences, introduced more convenience, and refreshed lottery’s relevance for players.

  ”To be agile, that’s the magic.” Ewa

Ewa Ulicz, IGT Marketing and Product Development Director


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