The Canadian Lottery CEO Panel focused on their reaction to the Millennial Safari panel as well as how innovation drives their organization.
o Brent Scrimshaw, CEO, ALC: “We have lost about half of our 19-35 year old player base. That is common across the country. Our innovation is focused on two areas. One is how do we communicate with a younger age group. They do not see themselves as players. The other aspect is creating games specifically for them.
One of my takeaways was that the millennial panel didn’t see where our products fit into their lives. I wish we had the convenience stores in here when the millennial panel talked about how they felt about c-stores. When you have a brand totally tied to selling cigarettes, you have a problem.
What I like is the level of sharing that goes on in the ILC. The first step to tackling innovation in a government organization is to forget that you are a government organization. If we look at ourselves as a crown agency, we will fail. We have tried to convince our board to set us free. Innovation can’t be a department. It has to be an enterprisewide venture.”
o Kevin Gass, VP, Lottery Gaming, BCLC: “All of the things we heard from the millennial panel underscores the lottery’s need to be relevant. It is a challenge. We have not made progress on it. We call in-lane ‘follow the feet.’ We look at what the customers do and what they want to do. We are 80% in groceries. We need to find other outlets for that.
We want to leverage what we already have as well. For example, PlayNow is 13 years of double digit growth. The quest becomes how do we leverage that in our casinos and retail. We have developed something for the casino market called Live Dealer, so people who may be intimated by going into a casino can experience that.
Millennials do not tend to like the locations that have typically sold lottery. We have developed in-lane. We are looking at QSR. In B.C., we had a net loss of 600 retailers in the past three years in which we have had record sales. We have to rethink what a transaction is. What is the difference between a digital transaction on PlayNow and one on Amazon? To the players there is no difference. We heard from younger players that there is a winnability gap with younger folks. We need to communicate better.”
o Isabelle Jean, President of Operations-Lotteries, Loto-Québec: “The main takeaway from the Millennial Safari is that we should not be afraid to try new things. Three years ago Loto-Québec began a switch to live products. eSports was part of that. To build bridges Loto-Québec began to participate. Now they see us as partners. We host events-eSports. We are working on a mobile solution that will allow second-chance entry and mobile ticket checking. It will reach a younger audience.”
o Greg McKenzie, EVP & COO, OLG: “I was glad to see that our investment in in-lane was paying off for the millennial audience. We’re less focused on a particular innovation and more on creating an environment to innovate. A great example is Big Spin which has been tremendously successful.
Moving forward is about creating a broad set of capabilities. OLG is engaged with eSports but the trick for all of us is how to you incorporate that into your experience offering or indeed generate revenue. We can’t do things just to experiment. It must have a revenue component. As we move beyond our monopoly model, the margins are exceedingly low. We have to be open to the milieu of creativity but we have to be far more attentive to margin than we have in the past.”