With game entertainment options expanding in many states and provinces, the conversation about responsible gaming is gaining momentum across the lottery industry. It’s why Scientific Games has ramped up innovation that supports lotteries in their responsible gaming efforts.
The global lottery supplier recently debuted Healthy Play™, an initiative to help lotteries market and sell their products in healthy and responsible ways. The initiative includes expanded engagement and integration of the World Lottery Association’s (WLA) Responsible Gaming principles across the company’s Lottery Group, as well as continued development of best practices, products, technology and services that support healthy play—from instant to self-service retail terminals and digital platforms.
One example is Scientific Games’ proprietary Pre-Commitment software, which helps players voluntarily personalize their play. First introduced in Australia and New Zealand casinos through loyalty programs using a card system, this responsible gaming software is now implemented all over the world, including the U.S. and Canada. Applications for digital play will launch in the coming months. Customers typically rebrand the Pre-Commitment tool around their own responsible gaming strategy, such as MyPlaySmart (Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation); PlayPlanner (British Columbia Lottery Corporation) and PlayMyWay (Massachusetts Gaming Commission).
In the area of instant products, Scientific Games offers Understand™, an option for lotteries to boost players’ comprehension of play instructions. Instructions can appear in two languages: one visible on top of the scratch coating and the other revealed when the player scratches. In retail technology, the company’s WAVE® terminals and PlayCentral® HD self-service machines feature a “Play Responsibly” button. When selected, a pop-up screen appears offering the option to print a responsible play message.
And recently, the iLottery platform developed and managed by Scientific Games for the Pennsylvania Lottery achieved the distinguished Internet Compliance Assessment Program (iCAP) certification. iCAP is held by few lotteries and is considered the highest standard in the U.S. for responsible online programs.
As one of the first suppliers to be certified by the WLA in 2012 as a responsible gaming supplier, and the first to join the Global Lottery Monitoring System to support the integrity of sports betting worldwide, the company’s brand is built around trust.
“Lotteries must have confidence that the products we provide are not only of the highest quality and commercially successful, but that they also meet or exceed industry responsible gaming standards,” says Carla Schaefer, VP of Responsible Gaming for the Lottery Group at Scientific Games.
Schaefer is leading the Lottery Group’s global effort to increase awareness for responsible gaming. She brings broad industry experience to the role in a career spanning three decades working with international and domestic lotteries, suppliers and policy makers, as well as intellectual property.
Her efforts enhance those of Andy Jackson, Director of Quality, Compliance and R&D at Scientific Games, who led the company through all stages of its initial WLA certification process and continues important work in this area. Jackson was part of the WLA working group that created the Responsible Gaming Framework for Associate Members. The Quality Assurance team also includes Natalia Pribojan, whose work along with Jackson’s helped lay the groundwork for Scientific Games’ Healthy Play initiative.
What is Healthy Play?
Built upon the WLA Responsible Gaming Framework and Principles, Healthy Play is Scientific Games’ branded initiative to create awareness for responsible lottery play. Best practices are drawn from experts in academia, the global gaming and lottery industry, government, scientific research, analytics and case studies from around the world.
The Healthy Play tagline, “Have Fun. Do Good. Play Healthy.™” reflects the company’s deep understanding of its lottery customers’ mission to support their beneficiary programs and their dedication to entertain players.
Throughout Responsible Gaming Awareness Month in March, Healthy Play messaging will be featured in lottery industry trade publications and in digital channels. The company has also launched an educational program for global Lottery Group employees as part of its effort to increase lottery literacy.
“A lottery’s success and sustainability begins with its ability to gain the trust and confidence of the public in its integrity and intent. When people have facts about lottery games and offerings, they are better able to make decisions about responsible play,” explains Schaefer. “We call this lottery literacy.”
This means lotteries must be proactive and clear in communicating to consumers all aspects of their games, including where the money goes and help for problem gaming. Increasing lottery literacy brings greater public trust, and it opens the door for healthy conversations about responsible play.
To encourage conversations, Scientific Games is creating a Healthy Play reference guide for employees, with the goal of making the guide available to the industry later in the year.
As part of its Responsible Gambling Awareness Month activities in March, Scientific Games shared facts and myths about lottery play to employees to help increase their lottery literacy. Other 2021 activities are planned, including participation in the National Council on Problem Gaming’s Gift Responsibly holiday campaign.