The quest for player engagement and loyalty can often be like a TV drama series. Lotteries are battling a multitude of new contenders for their players’ attention, amidst a backdrop of evolving retail dynamics.
Kyle Rogers, Vice President of North American Instant Products for Scientific Games, recognizes that challenges are on the horizon, cautioning, “If we don’t know how to sell games in this environment, we’re going to be locked out. The consumer is speaking with their dollars.”
In the realm of lottery, where threats abound, Rogers and Scientific Games are at the forefront, securing new licensed brands and implementing innovative promotions and game extensions to fortify the industry’s biggest revenue driver—instant games.
Licensed games present a unique and efficient way to attract and retain players. The games tap into the brand’s equity, harnessing its power for strategic marketing across social media, advertising channels, and through retailers. They allow the lottery to connect with players on a deeper level and rally lottery staff and retailers. For retailers, primarily selling a myriad of games with obscure names, licensed brands establish an organic connection due to their distinctiveness.
Brands play a critical role in the industry, and some like MONOPOLY are perennial favorites. “MONOPOLY is phenomenal in our industry. It’s a staple. Every time a game launches, it performs extremely well,” shared Rogers.
But Scientific Games is also perpetually on the hunt for fresh properties. To find those with the most potential, they use the Power Index, which combines extensive research on the brand’s strength of connection and consumers’ intent to purchase. By leveraging the index, Scientific Games ensures an effective evaluation of a brand’s viability before it’s introduced.
Their most recent addition, GAME OF THRONES, HBO’s most-watched series, rates among the top brands available for lotteries today. Scientific Games added the brand to its 100+ brand portfolio because it holds boundless potential for the industry, resonating deeply with fans who want a more immersive experience.
“We’re really excited about GAME OF THRONES because it has such an intense and loyal fan base that’s still growing, which makes it a perfect fit for lottery,” Rogers said.
Digital Promotions and Game Extensions
Digital lottery games open a world of possibilities for extended player interaction and bring dynamic life to physical games. Notably, the South Carolina Education Lottery, in partnership with Scientific Games, introduced a digital Lucky Day promotion to support sales of $1 Wild Luck and $2 Crazy Luck games. Players could extend play by entering non-winning tickets online and spinning a digitally animated Lucky Day wheel for a chance to win $500. These $1 and $2 games have outperformed all other SCEL games launched at their respective price points this fiscal year, boasting an increase of 36% and 17%, respectively.
“It’s a fantastic example of taking your player from the physical game to a digital experience. We’ve given them something else to play for, and these two games have performed extremely well,” Rogers said. “Plus, we’re familiarizing players for future digital interactions with the lottery.”
Some lotteries are experimenting with digital extensions. For instance, Scientific Games and La Française des Jeux introduced the innovative iDecide game extension. If a player wins in the physical game, they can decide to continue the fun by wagering their winnings in a digital game.
Accessible through a simple QR code, this digital experience is enriched by brands. And it’s why FDJ launched DEAL OR NO DEAL branded iDecide games. The digital extension captures the essence of the original TV game show series, giving players a more immersive play experience, by utilizing the sounds and animations synonymous with the brand.
“I’ve made it a mission to add digital rights to our licenses because some brands are hard to translate onto a scratch game. DEAL OR NO DEAL has been an amazing brand from the beginning – players have embraced it. Now, the digital realm offers a new way to really open the potential of this brand so lottery players can engage with it as if they were playing the TV game show,” Rogers said.
Adapt and Innovate
The battle for players’ gaming dollars isn’t the only challenge lotteries face. Inflation is real and people have less discretionary income than in the past. Retail is also undergoing significant changes with self-service.
Despite these challenges, Rogers sees significant potential in Scientific Games’ innovative omni-channel product offerings. With the power of brands like MONOPOLY, GAME OF THRONES and DEAL OR NO DEAL, encompassing both traditional tickets and interactive digital promotions, lotteries have many opportunities to intrigue new and existing players. With a willingness to adapt and innovate, there is a clear path for lottery to remain relevant and exciting for players.
Deal or No Deal TM & © 2002, 2023 Endemol Shine IP B.V. Licensed by Banijay Brands Limited.
GAME OF THRONES and all related characters and elements © & ™ Home Box Office, Inc. (s23)
MONOPOLY TM, ® & © 1935, 2023 Hasbro.