While $1 scratch games have long been a U.S. industry staple, consumer demand for the price point has steadily declined for the past decade and a half as players are choosing to purchase higher price point games. In the U.S., $1 game sales have decreased 64% since their height of popularity in the mid-2000s—down from $4.5 billion in 2006 to $1.6 billion in 2022.
But despite the significant sales drop, $1 games still play an important role in a lottery’s overall game portfolio. The answer isn’t to remove the price point altogether. Instead, as lotteries review and seek to revise their lower price point strategy, it is necessary to understand the role $1 games play for their consumers and determine how to clearly establish value propositions between and within all price points to create a strong and sustainable lottery portfolio.
Scientific Games conducted extensive research and analysis of the needs and wants that $1 (and $2) games fill for players and distilled these findings into the six most important occasions for these lower price point games: as an entry-level game, as good use of “spare change,” as an impulse purchase, as part of a family of games, as a gift and as part of the winter holiday line-up.
When changing the overarching low price point strategy, lotteries must consider the significance of these roles to avoid negative impacts on sales, gross gaming revenue, lottery brand acquisition efforts and alienating players. And while there isn’t a “one-size fits all” answer, Scientific Games has several recommendations for lotteries to consider as they review and revise their lower price point offerings:
- Develop a holistic price point strategy across the entire instant scratch portfolio, don’t just look at $1 or $2 games
- Launch fewer, strategically positioned games
- Increase order quantity to create healthy prize structures
- Create frequent, smaller winning experiences
- Pulse bigger games vs. more new games
- Consider different launch strategies and broader allocations
For more information on portfolio management, contact your Scientific Games representative.