If you ask Scientific Games’ longtime draw games expert Leslie Badger, the Fast Play category of games is a category all its own. The on-demand terminal-generated games are having more than a moment at several U.S. lotteries that renewed their focus on incremental revenue opportunities. And players are responding.
Scientific Games, the global leader in instant-win games for 50 years, is leveraging its expertise across retail and digital games in multiple categories, including Fast Play.
Badger, VP of Systems Marketing and Game Content for the company, has been following the science inside Fast Play games since 2004 when Scientific Games pioneered the category for its lottery systems customers – calling them PlayNow games. With either a progressive (rolling jackpot) or set top prizes, the products are purchased from the retailer terminal or at self-service terminals like Powerball and state lotto games but feature an instant win opportunity.
Fast Play games are most successfully marketed with digital advertising at across the retailer network.
“We have been selling Fast Play games since 2011 and just recently set a new weekly historical record for combined sales (Fast Play and Fast Play Progressive). Our $20 Fast Play games account for 56.68% of Fast Play sales in Vermont,” said Danielle Jenson, Senior Director of Agency Operations for the Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery.
Since converting to Scientific Games’ systems in October 2022, the Vermont Lottery’s Fast Play category sales have doubled compared to the previous 52 weeks – Powerball is the only terminal-generated game currently outselling Fast Play, partially due to the recent $2 billion jackpot. “You can’t launch Fast Play like draw games. You have to strategically manage these games in the overall portfolio, like the scratch game category,” explains Badger. “We’re bringing five decades of instant win experience to the products and collaborating with our customers to make sure these games are getting the attention they need to thrive.”
The Maryland Lottery was one of the first in the U.S. to launch Fast Play games with Scientific Games.
“On multiple levels, Fast Play games gave us new flexibility. Because they’re printed on-demand, there aren’t up-front production costs, so replacing lower-performing games is easy. And, like draw games, they’re available at all retailers, which leads to added promotional opportunities. Fast Play has been a great addition to our portfolio,” shared Kate Airey, Director of Product Development for Maryland Lottery and Gaming.
Badger and the company’s game designers work with customers to fully maximize the graphic capabilities of a thermal printer on Fast Play tickets. While game designs don’t have color, technology advancements and attention to details have made them attractive. Licensed brands like MONOPOLY, THE PRICE IS RIGHT and BATTLESHIP can also be added.
“We’re extremely happy with the way our Fast Play game category has developed over the years. Not unlike the instant ticket category, we have grown our Fast Play category through increased price points, themes and play styles,” said Michael Boardman, Deputy Director of the Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery Operations. “The real benefit has been the ability to offer the progressive jackpots that have really helped to drive sales.”
Badger said there may have been initial hesitation by lotteries to add the category to their portfolio due to concern they would compete with instant scratch products. “But that is certainly not the case now. Players love a progressive jackpot that they see moving,” she said. “Our customers are doing very well with these terminal-generated games.”
Today, 24 U.S. lotteries offer Fast Play games, with Arizona, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Vermont offering Scientific Games’ products to their players. Four are among the top six performers in the category.
The Oklahoma Lottery was the most recent to launch the games, which have exceeded expectations.
“Our new Fast Play games offer Oklahoma players the fun of progressive jackpots combined with the thrill of the opportunity to win instantly,” said Jay Finks, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Lottery. “Fast Play is a great, innovative addition to our product portfolio that complements the entertainment experience offered by our Scratchers and draw games.”
With more players discovering the product daily, the category offers a fast, easy play experience. And with expert positioning in the overall portfolio, a great opportunity to create incremental revenue for lottery beneficiary programs.