This edition of La Fleur's Magazine features best instant ticket strategy (U.S. vs Israel), gambling on VLTs (Greece) and a Q&A with outgoing EL President Friedrich Stickler.
In a special EL Conference Roundup, European lottery CEOs weigh in on how to become more market oriented and counter lower growth rates and falling market share.
La Fleur’s 2015 Symposium reports features topics such as bloc lotto, strategic alliance, lottery convergence and responsible gaming plus Strikes for Responsible Gaming. The Arkansas, Colorado, DC, Minnesota and New Hampshire lotteries sweep the 2015 Fleurry Ad Awards. Plus don’t miss the Call for Entries to the 2015 Fleurry Best Lottery Event contest.
La Fleur's Data Index shows a 6% increase in 1Q15 U.S. lottery sales. All new is the non-traditional product sales report for VLT, table games, Internet, epulltabs, ITG games and sports games.
World Link features Colombia’s Para Mama, Chile and Venezuela’s Kino, Brazil’s Easter Draw, Uruguay’s instant success and lottery tie-ins to UN’s International Day of Families.
7-Eleven Proprietary Ticket
“Oh thank heaven for 7-Eleven” has been a well-known slogan for the largest convenience store chain operating in the United States.
But the U.S. lottery industry is redefining that slogan in the newest iteration of a proprietary scratch ticket.
The Virginia Lottery launched a $7 branded 7-Eleven scratch ticket on March 10.
“7-Eleven is an important corporate partner for the Virginia Lottery,” said Paula Otto, Executive Director, Virginia Lottery. “The 700+ stores across Virginia generate about 20% of our sales. For the Virginia Lottery, the partnership supports our vision of delivering games to the broadest possible consumer base. For 7-Eleven, the partnership is a unique opportunity to engage customers and promote its growing fresh foods business. We believe partnering with well-known brands creates opportunities to reach new players in creative ways. We structure our arrangements to maximize partner benefits, driving retail traffic and enhancing the ‘brand experience’ of our partners’ customers, while offering amazing prizes and reinforcing the lottery’s mission to support education across Virginia.”
The partnership helps both brands achieve their goals. Virginia Lottery wants more visibility for its brand while 7-Eleven wants to grow its proprietary food and beverage business.
“The proprietary ticket portion of the proposal was our way to help 7-Eleven achieve their goals and in return, we were able to receive incremental signage (both permanent and campaign specific), get attention and priority for the Virginia Lottery at 7-Eleven corporate and store level personnel, and begin to implement operational procedures to drive lottery sales,” said Rob Wesley, Director of Sales, Virginia Lottery.
For example, 7-Eleven has agreed to increase their POS material in their stores. “This includes placement of electronic jackpot signs, large window signage to support proprietary ticket which was produced by 7-Eleven and distributed in their monthly signage kits directly to the stores, execution of new game distribution incentives and sales contests where store personnel, field consultants and market managers were all rewarded for performance, and providing time and resources to develop consistent direction and training on in-store accounting procedures,” said Wesley.
The lottery chose the $7 price point to help differentiate the scratcher. “The $5 and $10 price points are our strongest, so it made sense to find something in the middle that would play off the 7-Eleven name,” explained Otto.
“Large corporate accounts look for something unique and proprietary for them,” added Wesley. “To help make the partnership proposal a strong one, we did just that. We gave them something no one else had, a $7 scratcher. This made the plan even stronger and helped us get the things we were asking 7-Eleven to do.”
This proprietary ticket could make 7-Eleven think “oh thank heaven for the Virginia Lottery” as customers are buying into the concept.
“The redemption rate so far is close to 50%. 7-Eleven is very pleased with the results,” said Otto.
Two other U.S. lotteries have sold proprietary 7-Eleven scratch tickets. Washington’s Lottery ran a $2 ticket in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The most recent ticket featured a second-chance tear-away coupon on the ticket where where players would buy a $5 Mega Millions and be entered into a drawing for $20,000, $10,000 or 10 winners of $1,000.
The Oregon Lottery sold a $2 proprietary ticket launched in September 2013. 7-Eleven provided a coupon at the bottom of the ticket for donuts, Slurpee, Big Bite and the 7-Eleven app.
Super-Sized Scratch Off
Taking a nod from McDonalds, the Texas Lottery is asking players if they want to “super size” a scratcher purchase at retail.
In April, the Texas Lottery debuted its new Super-Sized product offering. Called Super Ticket™ 7’s, the ticket costs $10 and measures 12 inches by 8 inches. The ticket is printed by IGT.
“Each of the instant ticket print manufacturers is able to print oversized tickets,” said Dale Bowersock, Instant Product Coordinator, Texas Lottery. “Since we have contracts in place with all three vendors, we asked them to provide concepts for an oversized game. Texas Lottery management reviewed the submitted designs and locked in on this design. 7’s themed tickets have always been popular in Texas and this design caught our eye since it combined both the gems theme and the 7’s theme with a black background.”
Bowersock reported the game is off to a fantastic start with $8.1 million in sales the first week and $9.8 million the second week. “We hope the sales continue to be strong and will make this game our best indexing game at the $10 price point to date,” he said.
The larger size is unique and gives the ticket a great deal of added value for the existing $10 player. “There are up to 42 chances to win and the extra play action keeps the player engaged for a longer period of time without complicated play action. This extra play action may also appeal to a player who has considered the $10 price point in the past but not actually purchased that price point,” said Bowersock.
Super Ticket has already achieved the highest weekly sales for a $10 ticket in Texas Lottery history thanks to a big retail push. “The majority of the dual-sized dispensers are prominently displayed at the top of our retailer’s dispenser displays and are also featured on top of special 5-bin dispenser towers that are placed at retail locations which will accept them,” said Bowersock. “There are approximately 16,200 dual-sized dispensers in market with roughly 1,800 featured on the special towers. We hope to continue to place more of these dispensers as more retailers see the sales potential.”
Super Ticket is not supported by an advertising campaign. “The Texas Lottery introduces approximately 90 games a year and the majority of them receive no advertising support,” said Bowersock. “We believed the merchandising of the game in the larger dispensers with void samples connected to those dispensers would be strong enough to garner retailer support of the product and player interest.”
The lottery ordered 8,154,100 tickets. There are no plans to reorder more tickets. “We want to keep this game unique and only offer it at special times through the year,” said Bowersock. “By allowing it to quickly sell through and then be out of market, we hope to build anticipation and demand for the next release in the future without wearing out the new concept too quickly.”
Electronic Games Ban
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has opted not to veto the legislation to halt the Minnesota Lottery’s electronic games. The bill passed after overwhelming votes in the Senate in May and the House on May 14. Spokesman Matt Swenson said the governor would defer to their will rather than veto it, which could have subjected him to a possible override attempt, according to CBS.
The legislature did preserve the lottery’s right to sell draw games on the Internet. Currently, players can purchase seven draw games online: All or Nothing, Daily 3, Gopher 5, Hot Lotto, Northstar Cash, Mega Millions and Powerball. In calendar 2015, the lottery sold $2.2 million in draw games online. In addition, the lottery’s eScratch sales totaled $700,428 in calendar 2014. eScratch sales represent a partial year as the Minnesota Lottery launched the product online in February 2014.
Last year, the Minnesota Lottery narrowly avoided the Internet ban on electronic games, which included the eScratch® games sold online at www.mnlottery.com as well as the draw games sold at gas pumps and through ATMs.
Minnesota Lottery was the first U.S. lottery to sell eScratch games online. (Now, however, there are three U.S. lotteries selling eScratch games as Georgia Lottery Corp. and Michigan Lottery both launched online scratch sales.)
The legislature has given the lottery a four-month window to end its contract with vendors. “It’s not just turning off a switch,” said Ed Van Petten, Executive Director of the Minnesota Lottery. “We’ll have to work with our vendors on that issue and determine what is and isn’t possible.”
In addition, the state could be sued by these vendors. Early termination damages could climb as high as $12 million.
Van Petten has warned that the draw games sold online could be at risk. “I can’t imagine our vendors would continue the contract if we breach part of it,” he stressed.
The launch of eScratch games was covered in the March/April 2014 issue of La Fleur’s Magazine. At startup, the lottery was projecting $50,000 per month with expectations that there would be steady sales increases. Sales actually outperformed estimates.
Minnesota Lottery contracts with Scientific Games and has deployed its Sciplay iLottery platform. “For eScratch specifically, Scientific Games’ Sciplay platform serves to house and distribute the games. The games themselves are provided by members of the Sciplay.Studio community. Our initial games were provided by Sciplay.Studio member Instant Win Gaming, and these initial games are performing very strongly. Forward going, we are reviewing additional games in the IWG portfolio along with games from other Sciplay.Studio partners,” reported Jenny Canfield, Director, Operations at Minnesota Lottery (as reported in the 2014 article).
New Powerball Matrix
On May 7, MUSL members voted to change the Powerball matrix to 5/66 + 1/32. The current matrix is 5/59 + 1/35. This change will be implemented in October 2015.
According to MUSL Executive Director Chuck Strutt, the matrix change will result in $5.8 billion in projected Powerball sales for the 12 months beginning with the October start date. The jackpot projection is $309 million, with an average hit rate of 10 to 11 jackpots per year. If the directors had voted against the matrix change, projected Powerball sales were $4.1 billion in this same period and the jackpot projection was $174 million.
Originally, MUSL members had voted to change the matrix in July as well as add a new $1 PowerPlus add-on game.
The summer 2015 launch was shuttled. “The change to the game that was approved last fall at our meeting in Atlantic City altered the value proposition for the players in a material way,” said Jeff Anderson, Chairman of MUSL’s Powerball Committee. “It did make the game different and potentially more complex. Following the troubles with the Monopoly Millionaires Club (MMC) National Premium Game, members were concerned about complexity since the perception was the reason why the MMC draw game had difficulty gaining traction with consumers.”
7-Eleven Proprietary Ticket
Super-Sized Scratch Off
Electronic Games Ban
IGT announced that its subsidiary GTECH Corp. has entered into a contract with the Minnesota State Lottery to provide new lottery technology, an IP-communications network, multimedia displays, self-service products, and ongoing support services, following a competitive procurement.
The 7.5 year integrated services contract with the lottery contains three renewal options of one year each, or up to one renewal of three years, or any variation thereof.
The contract is valued at approximately $75 million to $80 million in revenues over the base 7.5 year contract period, which runs through August 9, 2023.
“The Minnesota State Lottery has built its success based upon strong retailer relationships and understanding its players’ preferences,” said Michael Chambrello, CEO of North America Lottery at IGT. “We will continue to work in partnership with this forward-thinking lottery to offer the most appropriate technology solutions and a diversified product mix tailored to meet the ever-changing needs of the lottery’s retail landscape, and adapt as its business evolves over the next seven-and-a-half years. As well, we will remain focused on maximizing profitability for the lottery by continually searching for ways to grow sales while operating effectively and efficiently.”
“IGT is the right partner for building on the Lottery’s 25 years of success and maximizing the Lottery’s contribution to the State of Minnesota,” said Minnesota State Lottery Executive Director Ed Van Petten.
Scientific Games Corporation has signed a contract to provide OPAP S.A. (OPAP) with 5,000 video lottery terminals (VLTs) pursuant to OPAP’s 10-year license to operate a network of 16,500 VLTs across the country. Deployment is expected to begin in spring 2015 and conclude by the end of the year.
“We are proud to be chosen as one of the four suppliers to collaborate with OPAP in the installation and operations of VLTs in Greece,” said Gavin Isaacs, President and Chief Executive Officer, Scientific Games. “We believe the selection of Scientific Games to provide a significant portion of the entire network reflects the value we expect to generate with the great entertainment experience that our VLT games and cabinets provide to players.
“Our unique combination of content libraries allows us to provide game suites that include the best of Bally, Barcrest, Shuffle Master and WMS branded content, which provides a variety of unique play experiences and value to operators and players in Greece and around the world,” Isaacs added. “We look forward to supporting OPAP in the successful launch and seamless operation of this important new business in Greece.”
INTRALOT is the first vendor in the gaming industry certified with the ISO 29990:2010 standard for the training services provided by its “Learning Center.” This unique certification covers the full training process, including analysis, design, delivery, monitoring and evaluation of project-based training.
“INTRALOT recognized early on the importance of knowledge to a lottery organization’s success and regards customer training as a key aspect of its project implementations,” said Konstantinos Farris, Group Chief Technology Officer at INTRALOT. “After obtaining certifications that cover practically every stage of our project delivery activities, INTRALOT continues to forge ahead to ensure the quality of its programs. To this effect, INTRALOT is proud and honored to be the first vendor in the gaming industry to have obtained the ISO 29990:2010, the international standard for non-formal education and training.”
INTRALOT’s Learning Center is a dedicated team of specialized training professionals committed to providing INTRALOT Customers worldwide with high-quality, professional training services.
ISO 29990:2010 is a standard that aims to improve the quality of offerings on the global market concerning non-formal education and training, such as vocational training, life-long learning and in-company training. The certification process was managed by TUV Hellas, an esteemed certification body.
Scientific Games Corporation announced that Santa Casa da Misericordia de Lisboa (SCML), the operator of the Portuguese State Lottery, reported record instant game sales in 2014, a year-over-year increase of 18%. The trend has continued in 2015 with instant game sales exhibiting an unprecedented year-over-year increase of more than 35% thus far.
Scientific Games signed a two-year contract in February 2014 to provide instant games and related services to SCML. The services provided include game planning, design and production, as well as sales, marketing and consulting services. Under the contract, which was awarded following a competitive procurement process, Scientific Games became the sole supplier of the lottery’s instant games.
“The instant ticket category in Portugal has seen tremendous growth over the past four years, due in large part to the games and services provided by Scientific Games,” said Fernando Paes Afonso, Vice Provedor of SCML. “Our collaborative approach has enabled us to grow revenue and contribute to a number of good causes in Portugal, and we’re looking forward to exploring further opportunities to ensure that success continues.”
“This affirms the role our innovation and creativity has played in the significant growth of the instant game category in Portugal,” said Jim Kennedy, Executive Vice President, Group Chief Executive of Lottery, at Scientific Games. “SCML is a charitable organization involved in a number of humanitarian activities, and Scientific Games recognizes that helping drive continued growth for the instant product will benefit many of the underprivileged children and the elderly in Portugal.”
Santa Casa da Misericordia de Lisboa is currently ranked in the top four lotteries in Europe for instant game per capita sales, according to La Fleur’s 2015 World Lottery Almanac.
The Prize Patrol is coming! Alchemy3 is partnering with Publishers Clearing House (PCH)—a leading provider of offline and online free to play games and sweepstakes—to bring PCH-branded games to lotteries and their customers.
“As lotteries shift some of their efforts back to the core player, the wide spread recognition of the Publishers Clearing House brand coupled with the dream of winning, make PCH an ideal partner for lotteries,” said Jeffrey Schweig, President of Alchemy3. “With a long-standing reputation for offering the pre-eminent sweepstakes, PCH also recently established itself online as a leading provider of digital ‘play and win’ entertainment properties that are very popular with lottery core players.”
“For decades Publishers Clearing House has been known as the sweepstakes, prize winning brand,” said Todd Sloane, Senior Vice President of PCH. “Through our online initiatives, we have also introduced Instant Win and Draw games, and I believe lotteries will not only score with their core, but also attract the thrill seeking generation of the online digital player.”
Lotteries will also be able to leverage the popular PCH Prize Patrol®, a group that travels the country surprising lucky cash prize winners with a big oversized check, balloons, roses and champagne.
“Incorporating the Prize Patrol into lottery programs provides lottery marketers with a way to feature the ‘thrill of the win’ which we rarely have the opportunity to capture with our typical lottery games,” said Schweig.
Since 1953, PCH has grown from a direct marketer offering magazine deals to a omni-present multi-channel brand that offers a range of merchandise for sale as well as a wide variety of “free to play” chances to win through their growing network of digital “play and win” entertainment websites. PCH’s programs cover the United States and Canada.
Pollard Banknote reported that after just four weeks of sales, the Texas Lottery has sold 37% of its licensed $2 Tetris® instant tickets. The game was launched March 16.
The Texas Lottery and Pollard Banknote worked with The Tetris Company to develop a ticket and merchandise program customized specifically for the Texas market. The ticket art captures the iconic elements of the Tetris game but with a twist—the famous Tetrimino playing pieces have been used to create a Texas-shaped grid.
“Tetris is a phenomenon now celebrating 30 years as one of the leading and most distinctive video game brands in the world. The Texas Lottery selected this iconic game for its broad appeal; it simply transcends age, culture, and language,” said Gary Grief, Executive Director of the Texas Lottery.
To promote this Tetris ticket, the Texas Lottery participated in the annual Cinco de Mayo celebrations at Market Square in San Antonio. On May 2, the lottery’s booth was a must-see kiosk for festival-goers who could stop by to play a jumbo version of Tetris Blitz, the lightning fast Tetris mobile game by Electronic Arts, live on a 20-foot LED wall. A roaming Tetrimino-topped team shared information about the Tetris instant ticket and Tetris Blitz mobile game.
“The excitement of the live event combined with the strong brand equity of the Tetris brand is expected to create excitement and increase awareness and sales of the instant ticket,”explained Sina Aiello, Vice President, Marketing at Pollard Banknote.
SCML Instant Sales Up