What was your journey into the lottery industry?
I wasn’t always in the industry. In fact, I was previously a prosecutor for the state. As you can imagine, a lot of my work involved illegal gambling, so I became familiar with the industry challenges from a different angle. Eventually I was asked to be the general counsel for the lottery in Massachusetts, where I remained for 7 and a half years.
And where did you go from there?
The New Hampshire lottery had experienced five consecutive years of negative sales and were looking for someone to turn it around. I was approached for the Executive Director position to make that happen. My wife had gone to school there and thought it was a great place to live and raise kids, and the role was a great fit, so we made the move.
What has been your lottery’s focus?
Right now, we are focused on maintaining the current growth of sports betting, its operations and adhering to the regulations around it. Of course, horse racing, charitable gaming, internet gambling, which has been our core business in the past 5 years, is something we need to maintain, as well as our relationships with the retailers.
What is your take on Sports Betting in the US market?
There is widespread growth in sports betting. NCAA really opened the floodgates. It’s all very new and exciting, and a lot of people are looking to enter the market, but that will eventually settle down.
The biggest challenge of sports betting is that everyone is still so new, and there aren’t really guard rails. The law is open to interpretation on how they adopt it, and how to grow it, there isn’t history to build off of. You have to build something that hasn’t been done before- it’s a blank canvas, it’s been a challenge but lots of fun. There is an appeal to growing something, but there is also a scariness.
What is the biggest challenge for the lotteries like your own?
The biggest challenge is staying relevant. Lotteries that don’t engage in technology at the most fundamental level are going to find it really challenging to be competitive. We see players using their devices more and more for both commerce, as well as entertainment like Candy Crush. We need to be considerate of these things when we make commercial decisions.
A big thank you to Charles for sharing his story.
If you’d like to share your story about your experience in the industry, please contact Vanessa Garro Peeters at firstname.lastname@example.org