The “Instant Ticket Trends” panel examined the role of innovation and risk in marketing instant games.
“I get jealous sometimes when I hear about innovative things other jurisdictions can do that we cannot because we have a monthly 30% mandated return. I tell the legislature that if the players don’t win, good causes don’t win,” said New Mexico Lottery CEO David Barden.
“The most fun I have had in the 17 years I have been in the business is with scratch games. I feel like you can take a risk with them,” said Tracey Cohen, Interim Executive Director, D.C. Lottery. “If we say we are in the ‘Fun’ business, we should have fun. We should be innovative. We are a city lottery so we can go out and engage the player on the street with an instant game. That is hard to do with a terminal game.”
Both directors talked about runaway hits. “As a lawyer, I can tell you that lawyers like doing what has been done before. As a director now, I think it is incumbent to push innovation. We did a Diaz de los Muertos ticket. Millennials loved it because it was genuine,” he said.
Cohen concurred: “With our 7s ticket, we had seven different images in a collect and win format. We put them out with no promotion and it was one of our best tickets. Players love collect and win.”
Both directors see potential for multi-state scratchers. “Regional games work. We could see a Maryland, DC, Virginia scratch game,” said Cohen.
A Southwestern bloc scratcher is also under consideration. “We have talked to Texas about doing an instant game,” said Barden. “You could have a mega jackpot instant game with five or six states. We have to figure out how to do it—not how not to do it. Change is inevitable; growth is optional. My wish list would be to have a $20 instant. I think you have to leverage what a group has. Maybe say if you want to be in this group you must carry this game to stay in the group. I can tell you what would happen in New Mexico. The legislature would say, ‘Yeah, ok, take the game.’”