IGT conducted Gemini Touch pilots in both Rhode Island and Tennessee to vet any technical issues prior to full deployment. These pilots enabled IGT to understand machine response and behavior within a live environment under high-traffic use.

“As with any new technology, issues do arise in a live environment that do not surface in the lab,” said Medina Topalian, Solutions Manager, IGT. “A small test pilot enables implementation of changes on a smaller scale. In addition to identifying and resolving technical issues, it was important to understand how the product’s performance and player adoption compared to its predecessors. IGT engaged a third-party research firm to conduct retailer and player intercepts to gauge receptivity to the new product. Results were overwhelmingly positive. Players and retailers both viewed the product as innovative and modern as well as easy to use.”

In June 2016, Washington’s Lottery went live with 1,475 Gemini Touch machines (24-bin). “Washington State is an extremely progressive market. The Lottery there prides itself on innovation and a heavy reliance on self-service,” said Topalian. “Player and retailer intercepts were also conducted to gauge acceptance and evaluate performance. As with Rhode Island and Tennessee, player reception was positive and the immersive, engaging experience has served to increase sales.”

Gemini Touch Features

Gemini Touch is a solution that will evolve as market needs change. “2016 is the year of flexibility, convenience and choice for both for players and retailers,” declared Topalian. “Our newest Gemini Touch features 28 bins and cashless payment. More games give the player greater choice and with greater choice, the opportunity for lotteries to increase sales.

“Gemini Touch also reduces lines at the counter while providing players with excitement and entertainment. It also empowers lotteries and retailers to optimize sales through technological innovations. Changes to the user interface can be made in real time and messaging can be customized or changed as needed. Ticket location and display can be modified based on fluctuations in demand, market conditions, and inventory levels using real-time business intelligence, digital planograms development and assignment tools,” she added.

With a touchscreen, retailers no longer have to pay careful attention to mapping physical bins to position in the user interface. “They simply load inventory in any bin and the onscreen organization of games is handled by specific algorithms that are inherent in each assigned planogram. Planogram adherence can be monitored through business intelligence dashboards and action readily taken to eliminate or reduce non-compliant situations,” said Topalian.

Touchscreen technology can help attract new players. Players want to be entertained. They are seeking an experience to engage the senses.

“Touchscreen technology is a dynamic medium that can be used to display creative content designed to attract attention. Infrequent or non-players may be more inclined to explore what the machine has to offer as a result of the captivating attract screens, dynamic presentation of the product, and readily available game information. Attractive screens display jackpot information and calls to action, while showcasing the lottery’s brand and highlighting contributions to good causes. Animations in the main user interface also highlight new games. Detailed game information, including how to play, is available to educate the player and minimize potential trepidations a new player may have,” explained Topalian.

Cashless Wagering

IGT understands that in an increasingly cashless society, many of its players do not carry cash. “Yet, today, very few retail establishments allow cashless payment for lottery products at the counter,” said Topalian. “For the retailer, it creates added work. Self-service alleviates this burden by offering a dedicated and secure cashless payment solution for lottery products with no retailer involvement required.”

IGT’s semi-integrated self-service cashless solution provides a means to pay through secure encryption technology. “This solution supports Swipe (magnetic stripe), Dip (chip-enabled) and Tap (NFC) payments. The need for self-service vending machines to comply with payment card industry standards is also limited by keeping cardholder data outside of the lottery network. Transactions are processed on EMV-enabled devices through a partnership with third-party, PCI-compliant vendors. Payment processing is accomplished by one of the U.S.’s largest merchant acquirers whose organization supports a specific vertical for casinos and state lotteries. They facilitate the settlement of credit and debit card funds as well as provide transaction reporting and analysis,” said Topalian. “Players will find that paying for their lottery purchases using cashless technology on IGT’s Gemini Touch is as easy as paying with cash. The user experience design allows for a seamless transition between the touchscreen user interface and that of the payment module.”