INTRALOT’s mission is to have the technology to help their customers in fulfilling their players’ needs. INTRALOT’s technological solution creates a seamless player journey that is consistent through all potential touch points, while giving the lottery and retailer a way to monitor and analyze every aspect of their business, via extensive analytics processing capabilities.
INTRALOT’s portfolio strategy is to deliver products and services that lead the way in digital transformation. Based on the twin pillars of a novel CRM product targeting both retailer/operator and player needs and a CMS providing a personalized offering INTRALOT empowers lotteries with the tools for modernization and transition to the digital era.
This strategy comes along with development of new content and tools that strengthen the company’s competitive advantages such as its vast experience in land-based betting through a partnership with British AMELCO for a unique omni-channel betting platform.
At the same time, INTRALOT pursues a growth strategy based on partnerships that offer local market knowledge and portfolio diversification.
INTRALOT Group CEO Antonios Kerastaris believes that lotteries are the ones to attract the customer. That starts with an exciting offering at retail.
“With a real-time solution, operators can change the online games remotely, for example every three days, so the retailer, which may be a veteran club in Ohio or a tavern in Montana, can get updated content weekly. And the operator doesn’t have to send somebody into the field to do this. Even the retailer will have available a screen to evaluate the performance of the game.”
Empowering the retailer to monitor which products perform better will eventually result in more revenues.
Kerastaris thinks lotteries should also have an app because it answers players’ needs. “If a player doesn’t want to purchase a ticket at a retail counter, they should have an opportunity to play regardless,” he said.
But this omni-channel program requires an integrated solution that serves both retail and online channels. “We have been working on this concept for the last three years,” said Kerastaris. “The customers can choose how and where they want to shop. We are offering a complete, integrated solution.”
“It solves a lot of problems. We provide you with all the platforms in between so the end customer can enjoy this [seamless] experience. With player cards, the operator will know exactly what each person has played, how much, what attracted him most… By doing so, the operator will be able to evaluate their players and propose them personalized game offerings,” he added.
The only way to drive stronger player engagement is by using CRM (customer relationship management) tools, including loyalty programs, and this is what INTRALOT offers in multiple operations. CRM collects data and helps to analyze the data on how a customer interacts with the lottery throughout the lifecycle. In order to retain and drive business, lotteries should further improve their relationship with their players.
INTRALOT’s concept is to deliver one platform that serves all different channels and multiple products.
“In our days we believe that market demands for a platform that will allow operators to expand their business in the online world, while at the same time will allow the transformation of the retail experience. This is not just about bringing the convenience and speed of the online shopping experience into the store. Consumers expect their in-store experiences to be consistent with their e-commerce routines. The key ingredient is consistency and continuity across all touch points that consumers interact on their purchase journeys,” said Nikolaos Papadoglou, Group Director Product Management & Planning/Group Director of Lotteries at INTRALOT. “Whether I go into a shop, sit at a bar, get into my car to play, it looks and feels the same.”
INTRALOT Canvas™ is an innovative and integrated content management platform allowing centralized management and control of content distribution for multiple game verticals across all sales channels. INTRALOT Canvas is an “all-in-one” gaming platform that came to deliver a unified customer experience combined with the highest level of personalization.
Portal framework architecture allows operators to rapidly aggregate applications and services, while offering a high level of customization and personalization to the users.
“What we are doing with Canvas is to personalize what the customer can see,” said Papadoglou. “This personalization for us is a big thing. And we’re not only doing it for registered customers. We know a lot even for unregistered visitors, such us their location, the channel they use, the content they consume.”
INTRALOT Canvas platform features friendly and simple dynamic content management.
“Canvas platform analyzes where you are coming from, what you’re clicking on and when you’re leaving the site. It can also be automatically scheduled to change the provided content, so the morning could feature NFL content and then switch to Powerball reminders in the afternoon,” said Papadoglou.
By optimizing content and automating adjustments, promotional messaging becomes more relevant, noticeable and appealing without additional operational overheads.
What INTRALOT does is provide the platform which is equipped with advanced marketing tools that empower operators to better understand their audiences.
“I can actually see where they are coming from, which ads they’re clicking on, and based on this information along with various other parameters, it does the profiling. So let’s say if you’re interacting through a self-service terminal in a bar to purchase a ticket, or through your mobile to check results for a certain game, it creates segments. It starts to offer different suggestions, and it learns what fits better on each segment, building a tailor made for your target audience knowledge base with personalization patterns,” explained Papadoglou.
As an example, he mentioned how Amazon uses its platform to offer suggestions on what a customer might want to buy based on their past purchases. “So we’re not really re-inventing the wheel. We’re also looking for well proven, best practices outside of our industry,” he said.
Role of CRM
The lotteries then must engage and retain the player through customer relationship management (CRM). They must have all functions required to maximize players’ lifetime value and reduce churn in the most effective, simple and user-friendly way by using advanced segmentation, loyalty, bonus and promotion functionalities, centralized management and real-time reports.
“When the player logs in, he is prompted with information about a game, the odds, and a bonus if he plays with us today. This is what is happening in all of the operations where CRM is allowed. If a player’s favorite sport is tennis (and the lottery offers sports betting), then the player must be prompted with tennis betting opportunities when visiting the lottery’s website,” said Kerastaris.
“It’s a matter of regulation. It’s a matter of habit. I think that whatever we see globally will find its way to the U.S. market eventually. This is for two reasons. One is because it delivers results. The other is that I think there is so much pressure currently in 2017 on the U.S. lotteries to perform [in terms of raising revenues] that at some point, they will need to do something differently,” he said.
Kerastaris believes expanding the product portfolio is a necessity if governments want to raise more revenues for good causes.
“These things will come if somebody wants to bring the game to the next level,” he asserted. “I understand that there is pressure from the state governments.”
Lottery operations vary significantly by continent. European lotteries are the most advanced in selling through multiple channels (traditional, online and mobile). Kerastaris sees Africa as a major opportunity for INTRALOT.
“Africa, I think, is a mobile online continent,” he said. “It is going to become relevant and interesting in the next three to five years. That is why we have, starting from Morocco, expanded to Kenya, Tanzania and soon Uganda. We are starting a terminal business in Nigeria, but Nigeria is creating a short-term license. The [traditional] concept of retail does not exist in Africa. You have the flea markets. It is a different ballgame over there.”
In South America, INTRALOT has contracts in three countries. “In January, we started with Brazil,” he said. INTRALOT is supplying TecnoAccion (Argentina), Loteria do Estado de Minas Gerais (Brazil), Polla Chilena de Beneficencia S.A. (Chile) and INTRALOT de Peru (Peru).
In Europe, INTRALOT operates sports betting in cooperation with Turkcell. The firm is monitoring the upcoming tender for the privatization of the national lottery Milli Piyango and Horse Racing Club, which were recently reorganized under a new state holding company.
INTRALOT has a global presence in 32 countries. In the United States, John Donahue was named the new CEO of INTRALOT, Inc. INTRALOT has a presence in 12 states with 600 employees. At the time of his appointment, Donahue noted that he was very excited to join a very innovative company like INTRALOT and that he was very impressed by their accomplishments in the U.S. market.
“INTRALOT has a fantastic customer portfolio, and I look forward to building upon these relationships and expanding their business throughout the region,” said Donahue.
INTRALOT has created a thriving hybrid product—Instant Terminal Games (ITG), which multiple U.S. lotteries currently offer. It’s a $1 billion annual business for U.S. lotteries.
INTRALOT operates the top grossing ITG game sold in the U.S. The Ohio Lottery’s EZPlay game grossed $117.3 million in 2017. In addition, EZPlay Quickeno grossed $9.45 million in its startup year. Finally, EZPlay Tap, which is a product sold out of INTRALOT’s unique player-activated terminals, grossed $30.5 million.
INTRALOT has a team of game designers that create special products for EZPlay and EZPlay Quick Keno-type games.
“The idea here is that we have established a team and an ecosystem to create games. Also in Greece, we are utilizing what we call game blasters,” said Papadoglou. INTRALOT has created special keno games for Ohio Lottery, including an Egyptian theme keno, a “Volkeno” game featuring volcanoes and a Sci-Fi metal laser beam game. “The idea here is that these games can actually be real money games or they can be social games,” said Papadoglou. “We’re using the social games in our iLottery solution to improve the stickiness, which is basically missing now in this industry. People are not coming back unless there is a big jackpot. So the stickiness of social games and interactive elements will bring consumers back. They can play these games to go up on the leaderboard, win points. A lottery can link it with a loyalty program. Basically you provide them with more choices and invite them to have fun. It is not all about money. The experience is so important. So we want to gamify the lottery by introducing such games. We think keno is something far more than just choosing numbers.”
Whenever the opportunity presents itself, INTRALOT will make sure their customers are prepared—whether this be in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe or the Americas.
“We are going to give lotteries an integrated solution. We are going to customize our offering to your preference,” Kerastaris said.