Genera goes to NASPL 2018!

Genera Networks had the fortune of attending this year’s NASPL event in Cleveland, Ohio.

Naturally the recurring topic of interest at the event was sports betting.  Having recently passed federal law allowing sports betting in each state, thanks to New Jersey, all parties (lotteries and vendors) were eager to know how to best approach such a lucrative and yet challenging opportunity.  My takeaway from most of my conversations from the lotteries was that they were cautiously optimistic.  On the vendor side, they said it was just too soon to ascertain how this would play out, and so we will wait and see what happens, although it does not look like much will happen anytime soon with the exception of a few states that’s already on their way.

As we are a developer of innovative game concepts, naturally we were quite excited to see the best new games launched this past year. Here is a quick synopsis of each:

DC “Neighborhoods”- scratch tickets that featured artistic images of different DC neighbourhoods, distinguished by iconic features and local landmarks. The community element of the game resonated well with DC residents.  There was also a “Second Chance” offering, which required the players to have all the neighborhood tickets, submitting them online.  With a large jackpot and loads of marketing efforts (experiential, radio, etc), the game was a major brand booster for the lottery.

OLG “The Big Spin”- a $5 instant ticket with a $500k grand prize.  Winners can only find out what they’ve won at the retailer.  If their winning is presented as “The Big Spin”, they (along with their families) are flown to Toronto to the OLG prize centre to spin a large wheel (think Wheel of Fortune) with various cash prize amounts.  The game proved to be incredibly successful and exceeded $100 million in sales in 29 weeks.

Michigan “Fast Cash”- Hybrid of Instant and Progressive Jackpot, ‘Print and Play’.  Prizes never run out, subsequently, players were more inclined to play. One fifth of lottery players played it in the first year, 60% playing it because of the progressive.  They found mobile retail outlets and jackpot signs to be effective in marketing the new game.

OLG- “Hit or Miss”- Developed to address complaints of having no matching numbers, waiting all week and lack of excitement with existing games.  In an effort to attract a younger demographic and new players, they took the $2 game retail game digital by displaying the game results on mobile with a fun game animation. The results were there was only 8.6% cannibalization of existing games, and 32% of players were under 35 (a large contrast to the 17% in their typical player base). They achieved $15.4 million in sales in 12 weeks.

All games were different, but found their success through including one or more of the following approaches:

  1. Engagement- keep the interaction between the lottery and the player ongoing. Find something that resonates with them.

  2. Taking Retail into the Digital World- if the desired demographic is a younger player base, connect to them through the devices they use every day.

  3. Community- Again, reach your target market in the places they live, work and interact, through their neighbourhoods or their digital communities.

Would you agree that these are the best methods to reach this younger market segment?

We look forward to learning and seeing more about what lotteries are doing around the globe.  Next stop on our journey will the World Lottery Summit in Buenos Aires – meet us there!

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