A previous blog discussed skills that are needed by IT and others in the organization and found that it is both IT and the business that need to learn the customer speak and work towards a single goal. This alignment is often taken casually but this blog will demonstrate the importance of this statement in its application to a practical situation faced by lottery corporations; what do we do about the internet and online gaming?
The internet has been a powerful disruption to many industries including lottery and gaming. Online gaming/gambling is a global industry that enables players from around the globe to play games of skill and chance. This form of entertainment has created many successful brands and made billions of dollars for their stakeholders and has eroded traditional lottery revenues of the lottery corporation. The younger generation has embraced the speed, interaction, convenience and wide offerings of online games and are not purchasing traditional lottery products such as scratch tickets and video lottery. Some lottery corporations have made investments and offerings online to attract the internet savvy. For example, in 2004, the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (AL) launched an online portal called PlaySphere that allowed residents of Atlantic Canada to purchase Sports and draw games over the internet.
Viewing this situation as a technical problem of “how do we sell lottery products over the internet” is not just simplified but also does not consider other salient factors. From public surveys, a top concern is that online gaming will create more gambling addicts and exasperate the impact on problem gamblers. If you have an opinion or view of online gaming, please take this survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MZ5YHK8
While the lottery corporation can boast that lottery profits go back to the community and have a better reputation in fair play and payouts, online gaming/gambling needs to cater to the player. A player of online games is firstly motivated from the satisfaction they receive from playing the games. This satisfaction is derived from what the player finds entertaining, this could be the ability to have a “decent” chance at winning a big prize, to be seen as a skilled player or just for the social experience. A game that satisfies a player will be played repeatedly and promoted by its players and therefore its popularity will be increased.
From the above, it is clear that online gaming/gambling is broader than technical delivery and service. While there are many successful brands and players of online games, lottery corporations have a strong value proposition that they can put together to make inroads into this market. While some lottery corporations have made some missteps in this area, defining the problem well and building a well thought-out architecture will reduce the business and implementation risks.
We at QRS have insight into online gaming and the problems faced by lottery corporations in this area. Feel free to reach out to us to discuss your concerns and how we can help.