In January, Washington’s Lottery launched its third venture with a native American tribe. The $5 scratcher is called Northern Quest Resort & Casino—a tribal casino run by the Kalispel Tribe in Spokane.
“The top prize is $50,000,” said Randy Warick, Assistant Marketing Director, Washington’s Lottery. “There is a second chance entry for a seat at the Slot Tour. Every person who gets in will win some money.” Prize payout is set at 67.5% of sales.
For this partnership, the lottery had to purchase 175 seats.
There are 29 federally recognized tribes in Washington. “We have been aggressively pursuing relationships with tribes. We have all variances in size,” said Kurt Geisreiter, Tribal Business Relations Manager, Washington’s Lottery.
Washington’s Lottery has previously sold two $5 tribal scratchers. “One of the things we learned—we didn’t take advantage on the casino side of offering reduced hotel rates or players points or trinkets [with the previous tickets]. This is why we are offering a total experience for the folks who win with the new ticket. We had a lot of people who commented that this is cool. You don’t get a chance to win a truck, but it is little fun prizes. Also it is huge for the casino because it drives players to register for the club,” Geisreiter said.
Partnering with the tribes also provides the opportunity to sell lottery tickets at the casinos. “As part of the partnership, the lottery will get three vending machines on the floor of the casino,” said Warick.
Lottery sales can be brisk at the casino because the patrons also like to gamble on lotto games. “We started selling a few months ago at a new location—$7,000 a week in sales. It even surprised me. It is heavily draw game sales,” said Geisreiter.
There is a difference in the lottery products preferred. “Most retailers sell more scratch than draw. They [the tribal casinos] have a clientele who is prefers Powerball, Mega Millions and Lotto. How we sold it in—they realized that a hour before the draw for these lotto games, people were getting up and leaving to go to a convenience store to buy tickets. They know they then just go home. They are not going to drive back. They were missing out on the sales. They want to keep them on the property.”
Geisreiter said the casinos also understood that they could earn the retailer’s commission by becoming licensed as a lottery retailer.