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The WEEK in REVIEW
A Weekly Snapshot of the Top Lottery and Gaming News Stories


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Vol. 86 No.10 - Monday March 11, 2019

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Sports Betting

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International Game Technology PLC Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2018 Results

  • 2018 full year net loss of $21 million includes $120 million of non-cash impairment charges; 2018 Adjusted EBITDA of $1,737 million within expected range when normalized for FX
  • Fourth quarter net loss of $102 million reflects non-cash impairment charges; Adjusted EBITDA of $416 million on strong global Lottery performance and North America gaming machine unit shipments
  • Net debt of $7,761 million; final installment of Scratch & Win license fee paid in fourth quarter
  • Cash dividend declared of $0.20 per ordinary share

 

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LONDON, U.K. (March 7, 2019) -- International Game Technology PLC ("IGT") (NYSE:IGT) today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2018. Today, at 8:00 a.m. EST, management will host a conference call and webcast to present the fourth quarter and full year results; access details are provided below.

IGT is the global leader in gaming. We enable players to experience their favorite games across all channels and regulated segments, from Gaming Machines and Lotteries to Interactive and Social Gaming.

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Leveraging a wealth of premium content, substantial investment in innovation, in-depth customer intelligence, operational expertise and leading-edge technology, our gaming solutions anticipate the demands of consumers wherever they decide to play. We have a well-established local presence and relationships...

"Our 2018 results are in line with the improved outlook we provided in October. The year was characterized by strong global Lottery performance, resilience in Italy, and progress in North America Gaming," said Marco Sala, CEO of IGT.

"We've established solid foundations to build on – securing large, long-term Lottery contracts in key markets and executing a full refresh of our gaming machine cabinet and content portfolio. These efforts will translate into improved free cash flow beginning in 2019."

"We achieved 4% Adjusted EBITDA growth on stable revenue at constant currency and scope in 2018," said Alberto Fornaro, CFO of IGT. "We managed our net debt effectively, while making large upfront payments for a key Lottery license in Italy, investing in long-term North America Lottery contracts, and returning capital to shareholders through dividends. Our outlook for 2019 Adjusted EBITDA of $1.70-$1.76 billion assumes underlying growth for our core Lottery and Gaming businesses.

CLICK here to view/download the IGT Report Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2018 Results

SOURCE International Game Technology PLC.

 

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Sokratis Kokkalis Becomes INTRALOT CEO

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ATHENS, Greece (March 1, 2019) -- INTRALOT S.A. announces that, effective today, the Chairman of its Board, Mr. Sokratis Kokkalis, assumes also the duties of Chief Executive Officer, following the resignation of Mr. Kerastaris as CEO and Executive Member of the Board of Directors.

Mr. Kokkalis thanked Mr. Kerastaris for his contribution to the INTRALOT and INTRACOM Holdings Groups in the past 10 years.

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Mr. Kerastaris will be replaced in the Board of Directors by Mr. Alexandros-Stergios Manos as non-executive board member.

About INTRALOT

INTRALOT, a public listed company established in 1992, is a leading gaming solutions supplier and operator active in 52 regulated jurisdictions around the globe.

With €1.1 billion turnover and a global workforce of approximately 5,100 employees (3,100 of which in HQ and subsidiaries and 2,000 in associates) in 2017, INTRALOT is an innovation – driven corporation focusing its product development on the customer experience.

The company is uniquely positioned to offer to lottery and gaming organizations across geographies market-tested solutions and retail operational expertise.

The company has designed a new ecosystem of holistic omni-channel solutions across verticals (Lottery, Betting, Interactive, VLT) for Lotteries digital transformation.

INTRALOT has been awarded the prestigious WLA Responsible Gaming Framework Certification by the World Lottery Association (WLA) and the WLA certificate for the Security Control standard.

For more information CONTACT: Ms. Spyranda Anamouroglou, Corporate Communications Manager, Phone: +30-210 6156000, Fax: +30-210 6106800, email: anamouroglou@intralot.com

SOURCE: INTRALOT (www.intralot.com).

 

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Pollard Banknote’s Licensed Games Portfolio Gets a Leg Up on the Holidays with a Christmas Story

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WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Canada (March 6, 2019) -- Pollard Banknote Limited (TSX: PBL) (“Pollard Banknote”), a leading lottery partner that provides instant tickets, interactive programs, retail solutions, and full marketing support, in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, is excited to announce the addition of the renowned classic holiday film, A Christmas Story, to its expansive portfolio of licensed brand offerings.

First premiering in 1983, the film remains an integral part of holiday festivities to this day. Heralded as “maybe the best Christmas movie ever” by The New York Times, A Christmas Story, a nostalgic view of Christmastime in Indiana during the 1940s, stars Peter Billingsley as Ralphie, a nine-year-old who has only one thing on his Christmas list: a Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-Shot Air Rifle. With his parents unwilling to buy him the present, Ralphie decides to mount a full-scale, hint-dropping, Santa-begging campaign.

With its memorable cast of characters and iconic imagery, A Christmas Story presents many exciting creative options for lotteries. Pollard Banknote’s Licensed Products team will offer a full turnkey program that includes the design, programming, and printing of themed tickets, as well as various options such as second chance draws, a POS program, and broadcast and digital marketing.

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About Warner Bros. Consumer Products

Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP), a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, extends the Studio’s powerful portfolio of entertainment brands and franchises into the lives of fans around the world.  WBCP partners with best-in-class licensees globally on an award-winning range of toys, fashion, home décor, and publishing inspired by franchises and properties such as DC, Wizarding World, Looney Tunes and Hanna-Barbera. The division’s successful global themed entertainment business includes groundbreaking experiences such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi. With innovative global licensing and merchandising programs, retail initiatives, promotional partnerships and themed experiences, WBCP is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.

A CHRISTMAS STORY and all related characters and elements © & ™ Turner Entertainment Co. (s19)

About Pollard Banknote

Pollard Banknote is a leading lottery partner to more than 60 lotteries worldwide, providing high quality instant ticket products, licensed games, Schafer Systems retail merchandising solutions, and a full suite of digital offerings, ranging from game apps to comprehensive player engagement and iLottery solutions, including strategic marketing and management services. The company is a proven innovator and has decades of experience helping lotteries to maximize player engagement, sales, and proceeds for good causes. Pollard Banknote also provides pull-tab tickets, bingo paper, and its Diamond Game and Oasis-branded electronic ticket machines to charitable and other gaming markets in North America.  Established in 1907, Pollard Banknote is owned approximately 67.5% by the Pollard family and 32.5% by public shareholders, and is publicly traded on the TSX (PBL). For more information, please visit our website at www.pollardbanknote.com.

For more information CONTACT: Brad Thompson, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Telephone: (204) 474-2323, E-mail: bthompson@pbl.ca

SOURCE: Pollard Banknote press release.

 

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March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month NASPL and NCPG Partner to Promote “Awareness + Action”

CONCORD, Ohio (March 4, 2019)  – This March, in recognition of Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM), the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL) is partnering with the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) to provide educational resources and training to members, retailers and players.

The theme for the 2019 PGAM is “Awareness + Action." The national campaign, which is in its sixteenth year, aims to increase public awareness of problem gambling, as well as the availability of prevention, treatment and recovery services. A toolkit guide, event calendar and graphics downloads are available to PGAM participants on the NCPG website.

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According to the NCPG, research indicates that most adults who choose to gamble are able to do so responsibly. Approximately 85 percent of US adults have gambled at least once in their lives; 60 percent have done so in the past year. Of those U.S. adults, about one percent meet the diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling.

This month and year-round, NASPL and the NCPG are working together to improve responsible gambling education and practices within the lottery industry. “At NASPL we value our relationship with the NCPG, and we’re excited to see the ongoing improvements made possible by our combined efforts,” said Executive Director David Gale.

NASPL recently released its “Guidelines for Responsible Gambling” to assist lotteries in developing best practices. Additionally, NASPL and the NCPG worked together to establish a Verification Program for lotteries seeking to create or improve responsible gambling programs within their jurisdictions. By the end of 2019, half of the lotteries in the U.S. are expected to achieve official verification.

Responsible gambling resources, including Verification Program information, employee and retailer training videos, and a downloadable RG Toolkit are available to NASPL members on the NASPL Matrix.

When help is needed, the NCPG operates the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network, which provides resources and referrals to all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Canada and the US Virgin Islands. Communication is 100 percent confidential, and help is available 24/7 by calling or texting 1-800-522-4700 or by accessing the Helpline Chat at ncpgambling.org/chat.

About NASPL: The North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries was founded in 1971. Evolving from an informal exchange of information among three pioneering lottery directors, the organization has grown into an active association representing 52 lottery organizations. NASPL's basic mission is to assemble and disseminate information on the lottery industry through education and communications, and where appropriate publicly advocate the positions of the Association on matters of general policy.

Media contact: David Gale, Executive Director, 440-361-7962 or dgale@nasplhq.org.

SOURCE: NASPL.

 

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Global Lotteries Enjoy Good Start to 2018

Global lottery sales increased a healthy 5.7% during the first quarter of 2018, with Africa celebrating thanks to outstanding growth in South Africa and Morocco.

 

WLA Lottery Sales

 

BASEL, Switzerland (March 7, 2019) -- Lotteries around the world enjoyed a strong first quarter of 2018 with every continent recording positive growth. The last occasion lotteries worldwide enjoyed such a favorable start to the year was 2015.

Africa was the most spectacular performer, with contributing lotteries across the region posting quarter-on-quarter growth of 17.7%. Latin America followed closely behind with quarter-on-quarter growth of 13.9% in aggregate. Growth in the Latin American region was almost wholly attributable to the strong performance of Brazil’s Caixa Econômica Federal.

For their part, the North America and Asia Pacific regions both enjoyed aggregate growth rates of around 7% quarter-on-quarter. Growth in the Asia Pacific region was underpinned by China’s Sports Lottery, which enjoyed stellar Q1-on-Q1 growth of 18.3%.

Africa: Jackpots at Ithuba take off as Morocco's run continues

South Africa’s Ithuba began 2018 in fine form with a quarter-on-quarter jump in sales of 12.7%. The increase in sales at the South African National Lottery was driven by large jackpots for LOTTO and POWERBALL, with the top prizes for both games rolling over from the end of the previous year. The LOTTO jackpot ultimately went on to become the then-largest in the lottery’s 18-year history, with four winners eventually sharing the record ZAR 110 million prize. When combined with the rollover of the POWERBALL jackpot from the previous month, this brought Ithuba to record-breaking sales for January 2018.

Beyond this, Ithuba’s January sales also featured a record-breaking week, which brought in ZAR 232 million. The sterling performance of Africa’s lottery powerhouse helped the continent’s contributing lotteries in posting a quarter-on-quarter increase in sales of 17.7% in aggregate.

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Not to be outdone, Morocco’s two lotteries again reaped rewards in the first quarter of 2018 after enjoying a fruitful 2017, with Loterie Nationale and La Marocaine des Jeux (MDJS) celebrating quarter-on-quarter growth rates of 26.1% and an indicator-leading 35.8% respectively.

Loterie Nationale was among the WLA’s fastest growing members in Africa during 2017 and is showing no signs of wanting to relinquish this crown in 2018.

Latin America: Brazil’s CAIXA powers Latin American growth

Contributing Latin American lotteries enjoyed growth of 13.9% for Q1 2018, as against Q1 2017. Once again Brazil’s Caixa Econômica Federal was almost solely responsible for the ostensibly strong growth rate across the region. CAIXA’s first-quarter on first-quarter increase in sales of 18% pushed up the continent’s aggregate growth to the reported 13.9% figure.

Elsewhere in Latin America, Mexico’s Pronósticos boosted its first-quarter sales by a creditable 3.5% over the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Its sister lottery Lotería National para la Asistencia Pública had a relatively flat first quarter, which saw sales decrease marginally.

North America: OLG and the California State Lottery bolster North America

The North American region also performed robustly, with contributing North American lotteries reporting a healthy 7.2% increase in sales in aggregate for the first quarter of 2018, as against the first quarter of 2017.

The good performance of lotteries in North America was built on the back of results from Canada’s Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) and America’s California State Lottery, which led the way with quarter-on-quarter increases in sales of 15.1% and 13.7% respectively. The increase in sales gains at the California State Lottery were largely attributable to the performance of the multi-jurisdictional Mega Millions and Powerball games, and strong sales for the lottery’s Scratchers (instant) tickets. Mega Millions experienced faster jackpot progressions after its matrix change and move from the USD 1 to USD 2 price point in October 2017, resulting in higher sales per draw. The average jackpot level for Mega Millions in Q1 2017 was USD 100 million, reaching a high of USD 188 million.

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During Q1 2018 the average grew to USD 221 million, and broke the USD 500 million mark for the first time since 2016, further driving sales. During this same period, Powerball also broke the USD 500 million barrier in Q1 2018, reaching USD 570 million in January 2018; in March 2018 the feat was almost repeated, with the jackpot reaching USD 455 million. This compared to Q1 2017, where only one Powerball jackpot over USD 400 million was recorded.

Sales of the California Lottery’s Scratchers also fared very well in the first quarter of 2018, and were nearly USD 100 million higher compared to Q1 2017. These gains were attributed to the USD 3, USD 5, USD 10, and USD 20 price points, with half coming from USD 20 games alone. During Q1 2017, no new USD 20 games were launched and only three to four USD 20 games were being sold in any given week, whereas in Q1 2018 two new USD 20 games were launched and there were an average of five to six USD 20 games on the market.

Even as OLG and the California State Lottery were the pick of the North American lotteries, the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation could be pleased with a solid 6.8% boost in sales on the previous year.

For their part, the New York State Lottery, the Kentucky Lottery Corporation, and the Connecticut Lottery Corporation all recorded Q1-on-Q1 growth rates of between 3 and 4.5%, while Canada’s BCLC enjoyed a first-quarter on first-quarter increase in sales of 2.9%.

Asia Pacific: China Sports Lottery enjoys an outstanding first quarter

Asia Pacific’s lotteries enjoyed yet another good quarter, with contributing lotteries reporting an aggregate increase in sales of 6.9% for Q1 2018, versus the corresponding revenue period of the previous year. The outstanding performance of the China Sports Lottery was responsible for much of the region’s growth.

The Sports Lottery’s performance for the January–March period was largely driven by growth in sports betting sales, which were up by 36.2% quarter-on-quarter to CNY 22.7 billion. Numbers games also performed creditably, with sales up 5.5% quarter-on-quarter to CNY 64 billion.

From January to March 2018, sales increased in 26 provinces across China, most notably across the Hunan, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shaanxi, and Jiangxi provinces.

Elsewhere in Asia Pacific, the Hong Kong Jockey Club also fared well, with total sales for Q1 2018 up a decent 6% on Q1 2017. In Australia, LotteryWest came close to matching its counterpart in Hong Kong, enjoying a quarter-on-quarter increase in sales of 4.6%.

Europe: SAZKA Group shows the way in Europe

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Contributing lotteries in Europe were up a comparatively modest 3.7% for the first three months of 2018, as against the first three months of 2017. Leading European lottery group SAZKA Group may be pleased with performance of companies where it has significant interests. The fully-owned Czech Republic subsidiary Sazka was the star performer, reporting a stellar Q1-on-Q1 increase in sales of 29.8%. Its excellent growth was driven by a combination of the growth of retail instants, the high performance of Eurojackpot, and the contribution of e-instants, which were only launched at the end of the comparable period (March 2017).

SAZKA Group also owns almost one-third of Greece’s OPAP and as such will be pleased that a 2% increase in sales (5.1% increase in GGR) at the Greek national lottery for the Q1-on-Q1 period resulted in a healthy 20% profit hike. Revenues at OPAP increased thanks to an increased contribution from VLTs and meaningful betting growth, while profits were boosted by increased contribution of products with lower taxation rates.

Hungary’s Szerencsejáték Zrt. enjoyed a buoyant 2017 and continued its run of good form into 2018, with total sales up 6.2% for the period January–March 2018, as against the same timeframes in the previous year. The Hungarian national lottery reported increased play across all game categories, with particularly good results from its new instant tickets.

Poland’s Totalizator Sportowy was the region’s second-strongest performer during the quarter with total sales up 12.5% for the first quarter of 2018, versus the corresponding period in 2017.

Increased sales of KENO and scratch cards had the biggest impact on growth, while the lottery also started accepting non-cash payments and launched EuroJackpot at the tail end of 2017. Counterpointing these developments, the Polish national lottery flagged the possibility that a decrease in sales of the company’s main Lotto product may have resulted from cannibalization by EuroJackpot.

Elsewhere in the region, Switzerland’s Loterie Romande could be more than content with a Q1-on-Q1 increase in sales of 11.2%, while the UK’s Camelot reported a healthy Q1-on-Q1 growth in sales of 7.3%.

Looking forward

The WLA will continue to track the progress of global lottery sales in future editions of the WLA QLSI. Once again we thank all WLA member lotteries participating in this initiative, and look forward to bringing you the second quarter 2018 results shortly.

 

Luca Esposito

WLA Executive Director.

 

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The Malta Gaming Authority Signs MoU with the Swedish Gambling Authority

MALTA (March 5, 2019) -- The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and the Spelinspektionen (the Swedish Gambling Authority) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the purposes of enhanced cooperation between the two authorities in furtherance of the authorities’ public policy objectives and mutually common values. The aim of this MoU is to facilitate on-going close communications between the two authorities, and to support effective sharing of information on matters of mutual interest and policy areas.

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Both authorities have also agreed to provide the best possible operational assistance to one another, on a continuous basis, in accordance with both their respective procedures and regulatory policies.

The Director General of the Swedish Gambling Authority, Camilla Rosenberg said that: “Many of the companies that have received a Swedish license also have technical equipment and a license in Malta.

By opening the communication channels between the authorities we become stronger in our supervisory activities.

This is the beginning of a broad and long-term cooperation, and our plan is to initiate corresponding collaborations with more gambling authorities in Europe.”

The MGA’s Chief Executive Officer, Heathcliff Farrugia, also expressed his satisfaction on this agreement whereby he stated that: “The MGA is always actively seeking to foster relationships with fellow authorities and other international regulatory bodies as we firmly believe that such relationships are key to reaching our objectives, especially in the area of remote gaming which is fundamentally cross-border in nature.

This MoU, signed with the Swedish Gambling Authority, is an important step towards achieving both our respective regulatory goals in vital areas of mutual interest, especially since the MGA and the Swedish Gambling Authority share a significant number of operators licensed by both regulators. We are eager to start this mutually beneficial journey with our Swedish counterpart.”

The MoU came into force as of the 4 of March 2019.

SOURCE:  Malta Gaming Authority.

 

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Kentucky Lottery Sees Best Scratch-Off Sales Day in Nearly 30 Year History

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (March 1, 2019) -- The launch of a new $30 Scratch-off – the first time this price point has ever been offered in Kentucky – has led to a record-breaking sales day.

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The new $30 “Break Fort Knox” ticket went on sale Friday February 22nd. Based largely on interest in this new game, the lottery realized Scratch-off sales that day of $8.77 million.

This shatters the previous record of $5.1 million, set on the very first day of modern lottery sales in Kentucky – April 4, 1989.

This is a great way to kick off our 30th anniversary we’ll be officially celebrating in April,” said Tom Delacenserie, president and CEO of the Kentucky Lottery.

To not only break but shatter our one-day Scratch-off sales record is a huge achievement, and a testament to the hard work of our retailers and staff. The more tickets we sell, the more kids we send to college. That’s a great net result of this momentous occasion.

The $30 game offers four top prizes of $3 million, one of which was claimed just three days after “Break Fort Knox” went on sale.

The game also offers more than 70 prizes of $100,000, and 600 prizes of $10,000.

CONTACT: Chip Polston | Sr. VP of Communications, PR and Social Responsibility, Phone: +1 502 560-1675.

SOURCE: Kentucky Lottery.

 

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Arizona Lottery Gives Away $1 Million to Players Throughout March

Arizona Lottery Hosts Million Dollar Madness, Introduces New Arizona Millionaire’s Club Scratchers® ticket

PHOENIX, Arizona (March 1, 2019) – The Arizona Lottery is looking at nothing but net in March, joining in on the fun this month with the Million Dollar Madness second chance promotion and the new Arizona Millionaire’s Club Scratchers® ticket.

Arizona Millionaire’s Club is a $30 ticket with 12 top prizes of $1 million, giving more players than ever before the chance to make their millionaire dreams come true with a single ticket!

In addition, starting March 1, the Arizona Lottery will give players another million as part of the Million Dollar Madness second chance promotion. Each week throughout March, one lucky player will win $250,000, giving promotion participants four chances to win!

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Here’s how it works:  Lottery players can enter eligible non-winning $10, $20 or $30 Scratchers tickets into the Million Dollar Madness promotion by visiting AZplayersclub.com or by scanning their tickets using the Arizona Lottery Player Rewards mobile app. Non-winning $10 tickets will receive ten entries into the promotion, $20 tickets will receive twenty entries and $30 tickets will receive thirty entries.

“March is an exciting month and the Arizona Lottery is proud to add to our players’ excitement with this new ticket and promotion,” Executive Director of the Arizona Lottery Gregg Edgar said. “While playing Arizona Millionaire’s Club, along with their favorite Scratchers games, Million Dollar Madness will elevate their experience by giving them the chance to win a quarter million dollars every week!”

Thirteen different $10, $20 and $30 Scratchers tickets are eligible for the promotion.

Players can purchase Scratchers tickets, including the new Arizona Millionaire’s Club ticket, at all 3,000+ Arizona Lottery retail locations. For a full schedule of entry deadlines and draw dates for the Million Dollar Madness promotion please visit, ArizonaLottery.com.

Scratchers® is a registered service mark of the California Lottery.

About Arizona Lottery

Since 1981, the Arizona Lottery and its retail partners have generated more than $4 billion in net funding in support of programs that help to improve the quality of life for the people of Arizona. Proceeds from Lottery ticket sales — more than $4 million per week – fund programs in education, economic development, environmental conservation and health and human services. The mission is to support Arizona programs for the public benefit by maximizing net revenue in a responsible manner. Learn more at ArizonaLottery.com.

CONTACT: John Turner Gilliland, (480) 921-4438 desk or (602) 702-2758 cell, Email: jgilliland@azlottery.gov.

SOURCE: Arizona Lottery.

 

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Grand Jury Hands Down Indictments Concerning Lottery Ticket Cashing Activity

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (February 28, 2019) -- A grand jury in Louisville has handed down indictments against three individuals charged with influencing the winning of a lottery prize through coercion, fraud, deception or tampering with lottery equipment or materials, and a separate charge of providing false information to a lottery investigator.

The first charge is a class B felony carrying a possible sentence between ten and 20 years, while the second charge is a class D felony carrying a one to five year sentence.

The Kentucky Lottery’s security department launched an Integrity Testing Program to determine if store clerks were following procedures for cashing winning tickets.

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During the investigation, undercover Lottery security personnel presented clerks with tickets that would scan at the terminal as $18,000 winners.

When the tickets were presented, security personnel told the clerks he or she didn’t know if any of the tickets were winners,” said the KLC’s Senior Vice President of Security Bill Hickerson. “It was up to the clerks to scan the tickets to see if they were indeed winners.

During this phase of the operation, Lottery security personnel went to 60 retailers in Louisville between February and July 2018. Some of the retailers were selected based on previous customer complaints or prior cashing activity, while others were randomly selected.

Special tickets were produced by the Lottery’s instant ticket provider (Scientific Games) for the operation. Internal alerts were received when someone attempted to cash them.

The results of the Integrity Testing Program were provided to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

Their staff presented two cases today against three defendants to the Jefferson County Grand Jury, and indictments were returned on:

  • Indrias Joseph, in conjunction with tickets presented at River Road Shell, 3002 River Road in Louisville.
  • Jinalben Savadara, in conjunction with tickets presented at Five Points Food Mart, 4548 Taylorsville Rd in Louisville.
  • Divyang M. Vyas, also in conjunction with tickets presented at Five Points Food Mart, 4548 Taylorsville Rd in Louisville.

 

Vadara and Vyas were indicted together, under the same case number. Their case will proceed in Division 13 of Jefferson Circuit Court. They will be arraigned on Monday at 3:30 p.m. Joseph’s case will proceed in Division 7 of Jefferson Circuit Court. He will be arraigned on Monday at 11:30 a.m.

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The Kentucky Revised Statutes governing the lottery specify what shall be the appropriate penalties if those persons accused of undermining the integrity of the Kentucky Lottery. In the spring of 2018, the Kentucky Lottery Corporation’s security department met with prosecutors from our office to discuss this investigation. The indictments returned today by the Jefferson County Grand Jury are the result of the hard work of those investigators and prosecutors,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Thomas B. Wine.

Store clerks who do not follow Kentucky Lottery policies, cheat not only individual winners and the Kentucky Lottery but the people of the Commonwealth as well.

While I’m disappointed in the actions of these individuals, I continue to believe the overwhelming majority of our retailers and their clerks are honest in their dealings with our players,” said KLC President and CEO Tom Delacenserie.

There is a low-tech way and a high-tech way for players to always protect themselves whenever they have a winning ticket,” he said.

When at a retailer, players should always sign the back of any tickets before they hand them over to be checked. Also, there are scanners at nearly all of our retail locations which allow you to scan a ticket to see if it’s a winner without ever having to hand it over to anyone,” he said.

In addition, the Kentucky Lottery smartphone app allows plays to scan tickets with their phones to see if a prize has been won.

Players are encouraged to contact the Kentucky Lottery’s security department through their Fraud Watch program if they feel they may have not been properly paid a prize.

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Information can be submitted by phone at (502) 560-1813 or via email at klcfraudwatch@kylottery.com.

We have the ability through our computer systems to quickly look at any single transaction. This allows us to investigate any activity on a ticket to determine what happened at the terminal during a transaction,” said Hickerson.

Delacenserie said the Integrity Testing Program will continue with some modifications.

As it takes a while for these cases to make their way through the legal system, we’re taking steps to enforce consequences on retailers who keep winning tickets much more immediately,” he said.

These tests continue to be performed, as we want players to be confident their experience at a retailer will be a positive one.” As the operation is an ongoing security measure, no additional details will be released at this time.

About Kentucky Lottery

The Kentucky Lottery has earned over $5.3 billion for the Commonwealth since 1989.  KLC dividends pay for college scholarships, grants and education programs.

Visit kheaa.com to find out more about grants and scholarships paid for by the KLC.

For More Information CONTACT: Chip Polston, T: (502) 523-6067.

SOURCE: The Kentucky Lottery.

 

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AGTech Subsidiary Wins Two China Sports Lottery Hardware Tenders

HONG KONG, SAR (March 6, 2019) -- AGTech Holdings Limited (“AGTech” or the “Company”, HKEX stock code:08279) is delighted to announce that its wholly-owned subsidiary, AGTech GOT Technology Co., Ltd (“AGTech GOT”) has won 2019’s first two lottery hardware tenders to supply lottery terminals to China sports lottery, provides sports lottery terminals for Tianjin, and new android sports lottery terminals for Hainan, respectively.

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John Sun, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AGTech said: “We are pleased that our hardware division’s continued dedication to the China lottery industry is reaffirmed with the winning of the year’s first two lottery hardware tenders, as AGTech GOT always puts the user experience of lottery shopkeepers and customers in the first place.

We will continue to strive for excellence in safety, compliance and innovation in the production and research and development of lottery hardware, further contributing to the healthy development of the Chinese lottery market as a whole.

About AGTech Holdings Limited:

AGTech was incorporated in Bermuda and its shares are listed on the GEM (Stock Code: 08279). AGTech is an integrated technology and services company engaged in the lottery and mobile games and entertainment market with a focus on China and selected international markets. A member of the Alibaba Group with around 400 employees, AGTech is the exclusive lottery platform of Alibaba Group and Ant Financial Group. AGTech’s businesses are broadly divided into two categories:

  • Lottery (including hardware, games and systems, provision of distribution and ancillary services); and
  • Games and Entertainment.

 

AGTech is a Gold Contributor of the World Lottery Association (WLA), an associate member of the Asia Pacific Lottery Association (APLA), and an official partner of the International Mind Sports Association (IMSA).

For more information, please visit: www.agtech.com.

SOURCE: AGTech.

 

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Denmark, Finland, France and Norway to Launch Joint Digital Operation This Year

BASEL, Switzerland (February 28, 2019) -- The chief executive officer of Lotteries Entertainment Innovation Alliance Morten Eriksen gives us an update on the venture’s progress.

In October last year Danske Lotteri Spil, Française des Jeux, Norsk Tipping, and Veikkaus established a joint venture called Lotteries Entertainment Innovation Alliance (LEIA).

Its stated aim is to “create a joint company to share resources in order to build a wider and efficient digital gaming offer”. In an industry not renowned for its technical innovation, with many lotteries still in the early stages of digitizing their land-based retail offerings, it is a significant announcement.

However, the initial announcement was scant on detail and there has not been any news from the joint venture since it was announced. So we spoke to its chief executive officer Morten Eriksen to catch up on LEIA’s progress.

Digital foundations

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The joint venture’s shareholders – Danske Lotteri Spil, Française des Jeux, Norsk Tipping, and Veikkaus – have fairly advanced digital offerings. Danske Spil, Norsk Tipping, and Veikkaus have websites featuring casino games, bingo, sports betting, and more traditional lottery products.

FDJ is more limited by French regulations but it also has a significant sports betting and lottery website. Furthermore, as part of its FDJ 2020 strategic plan, the company has invested EUR 400m (of a EUR 500m total) to accelerate the group’s digital transformation, including EUR 100m during 2018.

FDJ is reaping the results with digital player stakes increasing by 46 per cent to EUR 2.4bn during 2018, according to its annual report. Fifteen per cent of customer stakes now come through the digital channel, well on the way to reaching its target of 20 per cent by 2020.

While the four founders are relative trailblazers in the digital lottery space, none are immune to the challenges posed by private betting operators and lottery betting operators such as Lottoland.

They watch the digital lottery market growing and feel that their own digital efforts are not addressing it fully. Private operators are going through an unprecedented period of content expansion, loading hundreds of new games every month.

Furthermore, they are expanding with gamified content that far outstrips anything that is provided by the lotteries’ current providers.

One of the joint venture’s founding principles was to take the fight to unregulated operators. This will require significant investment and the founders strongly believe that by pooling resources they can foster the innovation needed to differentiate themselves from unregulated operators.

That does not mean they will abandon their own research and development projects but if the costs and risks can be shared, and the knowledge pooled then the outcome should prove that four heads are better than one.

If the reasons for LEIA’s foundation are manifold, then its main aim is reassuringly elemental.

“LEIA is a tool to help each of the four shareholder lotteries to strengthen their market position in their respective home markets,” says chief executive Eriksen.

Pooling resources

Since October, Eriksen has been busy building the infrastructure needed to get the company off the ground. It has been established as a legal entity and Norway was chosen as the legal jurisdiction where the company would be incorporated. Eriksen has recruited a small amount of devoted employees to join him in the headquarters he shares with Norsk Tipping in the Norwegian town of Hamar, about 100km North of Oslo.

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“We have employed a small team covering 360 degrees of what we need to cover. We have commercial, marketing, technical people and myself,” says Eriksen.

In addition, each of the shareholders supports LEIA with part-time employees on an ad hoc basis. LEIA positions are advertised at all four companies. In future, LEIA may well recruit from the general population if it has requirements that its parent companies cannot fulfil.

FDJ has been building the technical platform that will host the four lotteries’ games. The process of integrating those games has started with the initial focus on instant games.

“That is the common denominator of the four lotteries that we start with,” says Eriksen.

By using the existing game portfolios of the four partners, each lottery will immediately gain access to a broader library of games.

“Looking further down the road we will contract external studios or content aggregators and connect them to the platform,” explains Eriksen. “One of the ambitions is to have a broad library of content that the lotteries can use.”

The big ambition

While the initial focus is instant scratchcards, Eriksen and his colleagues are building a roadmap for the development of the product. This will be the key to the project’s success. The plan is to branch out into other lottery products, which will be able to exploit the pooled liquidity that the four nations can bring to the project.

The obvious comparison is with the Euromillions draw set up by the UK, France and Spain in 2004 (and later joined by the lotteries of Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Switzerland) and Eurojackpot, which was launched in 2012 by Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Poland.

Those projects were game changers for the nations involved but Eriksen says the local lottery market remains restricted due to lotteries’ monopolistic structure. Neither Euromillions nor Eurojackpot offer a pan-European online jackpot. That is the gap in the market that operators such as Lottoland have jumped into and it is the gap that LEIA hopes to fill.

In future, other lotteries might be invited to join the LEIA venture but right now Eriksen says the focus is on getting the founding shareholders live on the platform, which he expects to launch before the end of 2019.

“After that, we could take in other lotteries to the platform,” he says.

The pan-European online jackpot is the ultimate aim but Eriksen is careful to take one step at a time. This is just a start-up operation, albeit one with mighty shareholders.

SOURCE: World Lottery Association.

 

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First-of-its-Kind Joint Research Paper Reveals US Gambling Companies Donated $367m to Charity in 2017

American Gaming Association Releases Comprehensive Industry Responsibility Report

Landmark Research Done in Partnership with U.S. Chamber Foundation is Among the First-Ever Comprehensive Analyses of An Industry’s Community Impact

WASHINGTON , D.C. (February 28, 2019) -- The American Gaming Association (AGA) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) Corporate Citizenship Center today announced the release of first-of-its-kind research analyzing the scope of the U.S. casino gaming industry’s community impact and commitment to communities, employees and customers.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Gaming industry respondents reported $367 million in charitable giving last year;
  • Ninety-three percent have comprehensive recycling and energy efficiency programs, 50% higher than the overall private sector;
  • Sixty-nine percent have an institutionalized diversity and inclusion hiring effort;
  • Gaming industry employees contribute more than 422,000 volunteer hours per year, nearly five-times more hours per employee than technology industry employees; and
  • One-hundred percent of AGA member companies surveyed have a responsible gaming policy.

 

The research revealed that a majority of companies are committed to responsibility as an integral part of their strategic goals and that the overall success of the gaming industry depends on how well companies can support the communities they serve. The gaming industry outpaces most private sector industries in its commitment to diverting waste from landfill and instituting green building and water conservation programs. The full research is available here.

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Above all else, the gaming industry’s highest priority is to promote responsibility in all that we do, from being constructive partners in the communities where we operate, providing exceptional career opportunities to industry employees and ensuring all patrons have the tools they need to engage in our offerings in a responsible manner,” said Bill Miller, president and chief executive officer of the American Gaming Association.

Today’s report shows that the gaming industry is making good on our promise to be responsible community partners, contributing economically and socially to communities across the country.

While corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports continue to become standard practice among American businesses, it is rare to see the collective impact of an entire sector,” said Carolyn Cawley, president of the U.S. Chamber Foundation. “We’re proud to work with AGA to release this groundbreaking research that illustrates the gaming industry’s positive efforts in the communities they serve.

Methodology: The Chamber Foundation analyzed the corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs of AGA members, including a variety of company types and sizes, through quantitative and qualitative research. In the third quarter of 2018, USCCF and AGA surveyed and interviewed 15 AGA member respondents on the scale and scope of their corporate social responsibilities. Those companies represent 168 casino properties, 235,000 U.S. employees and $33 billion in total revenue.

About AGA: The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $261 billion U.S. casino industry, which supports 1.8 million jobs nationwide. AGA members include commercial and tribal casino operators, gaming suppliers and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry. It is the mission of the AGA to achieve sound policies and regulations consistent with casino gaming’s modern appeal and vast economic contributions.

About the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness. We educate the public on the conditions necessary for business and communities to thrive, how business positively impacts communities, and emerging issues and creative solutions that will shape the future. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

CONTACT: Caroline Ponseti, T: (202) 552-2675.

SOURCE: The American Gaming Association.

 

 

Registration for APLA/WLA Seminar 15 - 18 April 2019 in Danang, Vietnam is Now Open!

 

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Dear friends of APLA

We are pleased to announce that the Registration for the 2019 APLA/WLA Seminar is now open!

The details for this event are as follows:

  • Date: 15 – 18 April 2019 (Business Program on 16 – 17 April)
  • Venue: Hyatt Regency Danang Resort & Spa, Danang, Vietnam
  • Theme: Lotteries in the digital world - Disintermediation, Disruption or Transformation

 

This Seminar is being hosted and organized by both Singapore Pools Private Limited and Vietnam Lottery (Vietlott). You can expect a very exciting business program line up and an interesting experiential social program specially recommended by Vietlott.

A renowned industry leader Mr. Tim Kobe (Founder of Eight Inc,), who is popularly known as the visionary behind Apple’s iconic stores has been specially invited to be our Keynote Speaker. To quote an article, “Kobe believes that studying the humanities can help build empathy. A lack of empathy often goes hand-in-hand with a lack of awareness about the human experience that a particular piece of technology creates, which will restrict its widespread adoption, thus preventing true innovation. Tech companies and products, even entire countries, Kobe said, need to be designed with human experience in mind.”

Various Industry experts will also present on how we can captivate and reach out to the Digital Natives via channels that are pervasive to them.

Panelists comprising of representatives from WLA and APLA will also present on how digitalization have brought forth both opportunities and challenges to the Lottery industry.

We hope you will take home nuggets of knowledge and updates and embark onto your own Organisation’s transformational journey if you have not already started.

The Networking day will take us to Ba Na Hills, an area founded by the French colonials at 1919 and only lately, investors have transformed this whole place which is now referred to as the ‘climate pearl’ of Vietnam. It's located 1487m above the ground and boasts of chiller weather and fresh air.

Check out the ebrochure and also keep checking the APLA website for more announcements (www.asiapacific-lotteries.com).

Do hurry and register and as they say, Early Bird catches the worm…..

N.B. It is important to note that for the Hotel booking link, you can only book for nights from 15th to 18th April. If you need to arrive before 15th or stay past 18th, you will need to email to the hotel to request the room booking extension, the special room rates are valid from 12th to 21st April.

 

See you all in Danang.

 

Regards

Beh Swan Swan

APLA Secretariat Administrator

www.asiapacific-lotteries.com

 



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