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The WEEK in REVIEW
Vol. 88 No.2 - Monday July 15, 2019

 

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IGT Signs Four-Year Contract Extension with the Colorado Lottery to Provide New Lottery Software and Equipment

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LONDON, U.K. (July 8, 2019) -- International Game Technology PLC (NYSE: IGT) announced that its subsidiary, IGT Global Solutions Corporation (hereinafter "IGT"), has signed a four-year contract extension to provide the Colorado Lottery with new, leading lottery technology through July 12, 2025. The wide array of products include new back office solutions and the rollout of the GameTouch™ 20 terminal, IGT's newest self-service lottery vending machine.

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. 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...

"We look forward to enhancing our current lottery solutions and technology, and bringing added convenience for our retail partners and players through this contract extension with IGT," said Colorado Lottery Senior Director Tom Seaver. "Throughout the last five years, IGT has delivered its expertise and reliable technology to benefit all of our Lottery stakeholders and we are happy to continue to partner with them for the next several years."

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"This contract extension enables IGT to continue assisting the Colorado Lottery in achieving its sales objectives, and bringing further efficiency, convenience, and innovation to retailers and players," said IGT Chief Operating Officer, North America Lottery, Jay Gendron. "We're pleased to continue our partnership with the Lottery and help it maximize funds toward good causes in Colorado such as the environment, recreation, and education."

Under the terms of the agreement, the Colorado Lottery will receive a full suite of new back office solutions and enhanced business intelligence solutions to continue to grow sales and provide convenience to the player and retailer. In addition, IGT will deliver GameTouch 20 terminals, the Company's most recent lottery innovation built specifically to meet big box retailer requirements.

IGT will continue to provide full system support for all Colorado Lottery draw games, claims, and payments.

About IGT

IGT (NYSE: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 Digital and Social Gaming. 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 with governments and regulators in more than 100 countries around the world, and create value by adhering to the highest standards of service, integrity, and responsibility. IGT has more than 12,000 employees. For more information, please visit www.igt.com.

CONTACTS:

- Phil O'Shaughnessy, Global Communications, toll free in U.S./Canada +1 (844) IGT-7452; outside U.S./Canada +1 (401) 392-7452

- Francesco Luti, +39 3485475493; for Italian media inquiries

- James Hurley, Investor Relations, +1 (401) 392-7190

 

SOURCE: IGT.

 

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Arkansas Lottery Sets New Records in Proceeds for Scholarships and Sales

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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (July 10, 2019) -- The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery is celebrating recording-breaking achievements in multiple categories for fiscal year 2019, which ended June 30. The most important of these records is the amount of proceeds raised for scholarships: $98,411,747.

We broke the previous proceeds record of $97,582,528 set in 2012, which means more scholarship money for deserving Arkansas students this year,” said ASL Director Bishop Woosley. “Under the leadership of Governor Hutchinson and the Department of Finance and Administration and along with our staff, we have worked hard to continue to operate as lean as possible, maximizing every opportunity to enhance proceeds responsibly, which is our mission.

The ASL also exceeded several sales records in FY19, including $516,236,823 in total sales – more than $16 million over last year’s total, which was record-breaking at the time. New records were also set this year in sales of scratch-off tickets and draw games. Draw games provide the greatest percentage of revenue to proceeds.

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We have provided more than $803 million for the Academic Challenge Scholarship program, which equates to more than 542,000 scholarships in our almost 10 years of existence,” Woosley said. “And that number will increase next month when the Arkansas Department of Higher Education awards scholarships to Arkansas students for the 2019-2020 school year.

Since 2009, the lottery also has awarded more than $2.9 billion in prizes to players, about $252 million in commissions to retailers and more than $126 million in state and federal tax revenue.

Woosley added that the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery staff’s hard work contributed to the record year.

Our excellent staff worked extremely hard this year,” he said. “Every division played a role in our success.

Woosley is also proud to announce the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery recently received Responsible Gambling Certification from the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries and the National Council on Problem Gambling. The certification involves a multi-step verification program to ensure the lottery provides best practices in training for lottery employees and retailers and treatment options for players who may have a gambling problem.                 

To read the entire financial report presented to the Arkansas Legislative Council Lottery Oversight Subcommittee today, visit MyArkansasLottery.com and click on “June 2019 Monthly Disclosure Reports” under “LOC Reports.” Link to Reports Page Here

About the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery 

Follow the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Visit MyArkansasLottery.com for more information on scholarships, winners, games, odds, promotions – and to join The Club for free. To hear winning numbers, call the Winning Numbers Hotline at 501-682-IWON (4966). To get help with problem gambling, contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700.

CONTACT: Kara Lee Ford at 501-683-1646 for more information.

SOURCE:  Arkansas Scholarship Lottery.

 

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New Mexico Lottery Thanks Senators John Arthur Smith and Jacob Candelaria with “Legislator of the Year” Recognition

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ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (July 7, 2019) -- The New Mexico Lottery Authority Board has recognized two notable New Mexico Senators as “Legislator of the Year”.

The recognition represents the Lottery’s gratefulness to Senators John Arthur Smith (Doña Ana, Hidalgo, Luna, and Sierra counties) and Jacob Candelaria (Bernalillo county) for their contributions and efforts to maximize revenues for Legislative Lottery Scholarship students.

For the last five years, Senator John Arthur Smith has sponsored and promoted legislation with the intent to increase revenues for New Mexico students. Senator Smith shared a political will, stating: “The desire to provide greater opportunities to generate additional lottery revenue has not been as successful as I had hoped, but the Legislature will continue to look for ways to increase funds for students.”

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In 2019, Senator Candelaria sponsored Senate Bill 283, a bill proposed to increase Lottery accountability and maximize revenue. Senator Candelaria played a critical role, working with students, community groups, and the Legislature to craft a compromise bill that addressed student concerns and ensured a minimum return amount for the scholarship fund.

While the Lottery bills have not yet made it to the Governor’s desk, Senator Candelaria stated, “I will continue to educate my peers and the public about the need to generate additional scholarship dollars for students and how we can accomplish this worthy goal through legislative enactment.”

David Barden, New Mexico Lottery CEO said, “On behalf of New Mexico students and players, we want to thank Senators Smith and Candelaria for their leadership and belief that together we can raise more funds for Legislative Lottery Scholarships. Change is hard. It’s often easier to stay the course than forge a new path.”

Dr. Dan Salzwedel, the New Mexico Lottery’s Board Chairman, said, “The Lottery Board is tremendously grateful to Senators Smith and Candelaria for their efforts and the time they have dedicated for our students. We thank them for not just their legislative role, but also their educational role to help others understand how the lottery can provide more scholarship dollars for students.”

Legislative Lottery Scholarships

All profits from the sale of New Mexico Lottery games fund an in-state college tuition assistance program. Since 1996, the New Mexico Lottery has raised $818.9 million for education and more than 122,000 students have attended college on Legislative Lottery Scholarships.

More information about Legislative Lottery Scholarships is available at www.nmlottery.com.

Follow the New Mexico Lottery on Facebook (www.facebook.com/nmlottery).

SOURCE: The New Mexico Lottery.

 

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New Supply of Tickets Added to Our ‘Silverado’ Game

DES MOINES, IA (July 3, 2019) -- Our “Silverado” scratch game is officially a summer hit – so much so that we’ve ordered more tickets in it!

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The Silverado game went on sale here in Iowa on May 6 and it’s selling quickly. You likely know that the game is tied to our “Summer of Silverado” promotion where we’re giving away trucks and cash prizes in drawings that run through mid-September.

But within the game’s first month of sales, five of its top prizes had already been claimed and with its tickets selling so fast, we were afraid the supply wouldn’t last as long as our promotion!

So, we placed a re-order. There now are more Silverado tickets available to purchase and that also means there are more prizes to win! You may have noticed that the total number of top prizes in the game went up this week from the initial eight to the current 11.

That’s due to the additional tickets that have been added to the mix.

The prizes at the game’s other prize levels (ranging from $5 up to $1,000) also increased, but it’s the top prizes that generally catch the most attention.

Click here to see the list of remaining prizes in Silverado, our other scratch games, and our InstaPlay and pull-tab games.

So, game on! Thanks for playing, and good luck with your lottery tickets.

SOURCE: Iowa Lottery.

 

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Gaming Laboratories International (GLI®) Names Tina M. Kilmer Senior Director of Engineering

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LAS VEGAS, NV (July 8, 2019) – Gaming Laboratories International (GLI®) announced that Tina M. Kilmer, PE, has been named Senior Director of Engineering.

Kilmer has more than 20 years of global gaming experience and is a registered Professional Engineer (PE) with a proven record of success in developing a culture of compliance and delivering exceptional results in highly competitive environments. Her areas of expertise include technical compliance, program management, product development, project management, and strategic planning and execution.

Before joining GLI, Kilmer was Vice President of Product Compliance for Scientific Games (formerly Bally Technologies).

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Tina M. Kilmer, PE

She was a key member of the executive team responsible for global regulatory management and technical compliance of advanced technology-based gaming devices and systems, table games and utility products, and mobile devices. She also served as Vice President of Project Management.

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Previously, Kilmer held senior leadership roles with Aristocrat Technologies (formerly Casino Data Systems) and Harrah’s Entertainment. Before entering the gaming industry, she served in various roles with Argonne National Laboratory and Dow Chemical.

Kilmer earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is also a member of the Society of Women Engineers and Phi Kappa Phi and Tau Beta Pi national honor societies. Kilmer has also authored a variety of professional and industry articles, as well as received numerous accolades, including the Patty Becker Global Gaming Women “Pay It Forward” Award; the Society of Women Engineers Bee Legacy Award; and the Great Women of Gaming Proven Leader Award. She currently serves on the Global Gaming Women Board of Directors and the Dress for Success Southern Nevada Advisory Council.

About Gaming Laboratories International

Gaming Laboratories International, LLC delivers the highest quality land-based, lottery, and iGaming testing and assessment services. GLI’s laboratory locations are found on six continents, and the company holds U.S. and international accreditations for compliance with ISO/IEC 17025, 17020, and 17065 standards for technical competence in the gaming, wagering and lottery industries. For more information, visit gaminglabs.com.

CONTACT:  Christie Eickelman, Vice President of Global Marketing; +1 (702) 914-2220 or E: c.eickelman@gaminglabs.com

SOURCE:  Gaming Laboratories International.

 

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Excitement Builds for 30-Year Celebrations on 13 August 2019

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SYDNEY, Australia (June 28, 2019) -- There are less than two months until the biggest hospitality and gaming event in Australia. Celebrating its 30th year, the Australasian Gaming Expo (AGE) will showcase many of your favourite suppliers, give you access to new and innovative industry providers, and present to you the latest in thinking. Keeping your venue in sync with your customers' expectations.

You'll get hands-on experience with the latest in cutting-edge gaming design from Australia's leading gaming machine makers. Compare machines on the show floor, and gain insights into Australia's product innovation roadmap from the developers and regulators through the presentations and panel sessions in the seminar rooms.

You'll also see many new names on the show floor including Cellarmasters, RTC Foods, MJ Playgrounds, HOLOGATE, and Power Knot. You'll hear about customer expectations and learn about sustainability and what it means for your bottom line. You may even walk away the winner of a trip for two to G2E in Las Vegas – there’s a new draw each day.

Celebrate with your industry peers. The AGE's 30th milestone is a testimonial to the people and businesses that are our community.

Whether it's your first time to the AGE or you are a 30-year veteran, the variety of products and information available will leave you informed, inspired and ready to take your business forward.

Register here to attend.

 

The Australasian Gaming Expo is on the 13th to the 15th August 2019. Visitor registration is available at www.austgamingexpo.com or call the Gaming Expo Registration line on 02 9211 7430.

 

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NOTE: The Australasian Gaming Expo is a trade exhibition, for management representatives of Gaming Industry Organisations only including government, regulatory, research and support bodies, clubs, hotels, casinos, resorts and similar Hospitality Industry venues. Trade suppliers are not eligible to attend the event unless exhibiting.

GTA’s primary members are Ainsworth Game Technology, Aruze Gaming Australia, IGT (Australia), Interblock Asia Pacific, Konami Australia, Scientific Games and Tabcorp,

For further information contact: info@gamingta.com.

SOURCE: Gaming Technologies Association Limited

 

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Gaming Control Board To Hold Category 4 Satellite Casino Auction On September 4th

HARRISBURG, PA (July 10, 2019) The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Boardtoday announced that it will hold an auction for the right to apply for a Category 4 casino license.

The announcement was made following the ratification by the Board at its public meeting to re-implement the auction process that ended in April of 2018.

The first auction in this round is scheduled for September 4, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. just prior to the start of its regularly scheduled Board meeting. The auction will be held in the PGCB’s Public Hearing Room located on the second floor of Strawberry Square in Harrisburg. All current holders of a Category 1, 2 or 3 casino license in Pennsylvania are eligible to participate in this auction.

Under the Gaming Expansion Act of 2017, the Gaming Control Board was authorized to award up to 10 Category 4 (satellite) slot machine operator licenses through an auction process which was conducted from January to April 2018, resulting in five successful auctions garnering $127 million in bids to secure the right to obtain a Category 4 license. The successful winners and their bid price are as follows:

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  • Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association, LLC, which operates Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, is seeking a license to construct a satellite casino in Springettsbury Township, York County ($50,100,000);
  • Stadium Casino, LLC, which is constructing a Category 2 casino in Philadelphia, is seeking a license to construct a satellite casino in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County ($40,100,005);
  • Mount Airy #1, LLC which operates the Mount Airy Casino Resort, is seeking a license to construct a satellite casino in Big Beaver Borough, Beaver County ($21,188,888.88);
  • Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment Inc., which operates the Parx Casino, is seeking a license to construct a satellite casino in Shippensburg Township, Cumberland County ($8,111,000); and,
  • Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association, LLC was a successful bidder a second time and was awarded a Category 4 license on June 12, 2019 to construct a satellite casino in Caernarvon Township, Berks County ($7,5000,003).

 

The Board will stream the auctions live via its web site.

The Gaming Expansion Act 42 of 2017 established a minimum bid price of $7.5 million for Category 4 slot machine licenses.  A separate certificate for table games can then be obtained through Board approval for a fee of $2.5 million. A Category 4 facility may have between 300 and 750 slot machines along with a maximum of 30 table games at opening with the capability of adding an additional 10 table games after its first year of operation.

Following the auction process, winning bidders must pay the winning bid amount no later than 4 p.m. on the second business day after the date of the auction. They then have up to six months to submit an application for the Category 4 slot machine license which includes an exact location of the proposed satellite casino.

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The procedures to be followed in this and any subsequent auction will be posted on the Board’s website.

About the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board:

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of the state’s casino industry. In addition to slot machine and table games gambling, this now includes sports wagering offered through land-based sportsbooks at eight locations and through three online outlets. The oversight also includes other new gaming initiatives, expected to be launched in the coming months, which were created through Act 42 of 2017, an amendment to the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act.

The Commonwealth’s casino industry currently consists of 10 stand-alone and racetrack casinos in operation, along with the two smaller resort casinos.  These facilities collectively employ over 16,000 people and annually generate approximately $1.4 billion in tax revenue from slot machine and table games play. The largest portion of that money is used for property tax reduction to Pennsylvania homeowners.

Additional information about both the PGCB’s gaming regulatory efforts and Pennsylvania’s gaming industry can be found at https://gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov.

You can also follow the agency on Twitter by choosing @PAGamingControl.

SOURCE: Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

 

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Veikkaus: Innovating Through Collaborative Competition

 

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Niklas Hatje (left) and Julian Suttner (right) of GameBuddy, Germany took the grand prize at the end of the Veikkaus Innovation Challenge Week.

 

BASEL, Switzerland (July 5, 2019) -- Innovation is critical to keeping lotteries profitable, and finding new ways to innovate is just as important. Finland’s Veikkaus tackled the challenge head-on by inviting collaboration through their new Innovation Challenge Week.

Earlier this year, Finnish lottery operator, Veikkaus, announced their intention to host Innovation Challenge Week, during which chosen startups would have the opportunity to develop, produce and present ideas and solutions around esports betting.

Following a scanning process of hundreds of startups globally and a follow-up interview with seventeen shortlisted candidates, seven finalists were selected to participate.

The world of sports is no longer limited to playing fields and stadia, and the growing global interest in esports means lotteries are looking closely at esports betting options (see "The esports opportunity" feature in the WLA blog).

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Veikkaus took matters into their own hands during May with the launch of Innovation Challenge Week, a startup-focused project aimed at finding innovative, collaborative gaming solutions for esports players, teams and fans.

Worldwide, lotteries have made limited inroads into the esports betting arena; however, Veikkaus was among the first five operators to embrace this new and exciting gaming opportunity.

Offering legal esports betting options since 2014, the lottery has taken such forward-looking steps as organizing their own hosted StarCraft II tournament, broadcasting esports on their channel, VeikkausTV, and making betting options available on a staggering 13,000 esports matches in 2018 alone.

Nevertheless, Veikkaus felt there was room to grow and broaden their esports offerings and solutions, and chose to open the playing field to startups, with the grand prize being the chance to collaborate with Veikkaus on developing the solution.

The contest was opened to both Finnish and non-Finnish startups, and the seven selected participants were Finland’s 8-bit-Sheep, Reason Solutions, and Bono Health, Finnish-U.S. Evasyst, Finnish-Canadian Fandom Sports, GameBuddy from Germany, and the Belgian startup Zender.

Heidi Ioannidou, VP of Business Development and Innovation at Veikkaus, speaking on the startups chosen: “We picked a very heterogeneous group of startups that complement each other in terms of both their size and ideas. The chosen companies are developing products that are associated with esports, or they are otherwise strongly connected to esports. While some of the companies already have products that are nearly finalized, others are still working on their initial ideas.

From May 20–24, 2019, the seven startups participated in the challenge week at Veikkaus’ head offices in Helsinki. Working alongside specialists from Veikkaus, the startups developed their ideas.

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The individual works were judged by a seven-member jury comprising: Timo Kiiskinen, SVP of Business Operations, Veikkaus; Heidi Ioannidou, VP of Business Development and Innovation, Veikkaus; Jani Karjalainen, Esports Specialist, Veikkaus; Olli-Pekka Villa, CEO, Starsquad Event; Lasse Salminen, CEO and Co-founder, Havu Gaming; Kenneth Lehtinen, Founder and Owner, NHLGamer; and JP Virtanen, Founder and Managing Partner, Avanto Ventures. At the end of the week the jury unanimously selected German contenders, GameBuddy as winners.

The duo of Niklas Hatje and Julian Suttner proposed a social community platform that allows users to search game buddies, gather data on their gaming, and bet on how they and their buddies play.

GameBuddy’s idea has a strong social dimension, and it has potential of going viral. They have a clear vision of how they could offer something extra to the players’ gaming. The entire jury found this idea thrilling,” says Olli-Pekka Villa, CEO, Starsquad Event.

I am very excited and very happy as well; this is such an honor. We had a different approach to esports betting than anyone else ever had so far. I think that this may turn out a completely new way of betting on esports games,” says GameBuddy’s CEO and co-founder Niklas Hatje.

GameBuddy receives EUR 30,000 to further develop their platform and will be supported by Veikkaus in this endeavour.

Many innovative ideas were also found among the submission of the other competing companies. Veikkaus is very satisfied with the outcome of the Innovation Challenge Week and will continue to strengthen its networking with start-ups.

SOURCE: World Lottery Association.

 

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Gambling Commission Refreshing Its Gambling Application Forms

MELBOURNE, Australia (July 5, 2019) -- Here at the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR), as part of our commitment to continuous improvement we’re making updates to a number of our gambling application forms. (DOCX, 75.97 KB)

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As part of this refresh:

  • updated application forms will be introduced from 1 July 2019 through existing channels
  • questions will be grouped by category with relevant sections of the form expanding if the applicant is required to provide additional information
  • some forms will introduce new questions about an applicant’s exclusion from a casino or racecourse, or whether an applicant is the guarantor for a loan or debt
  • there will be increased consistency across different types of application forms

 

The online forms provide intuitive questions based on an applicant’s response and enable the application to be saved and returned to for up to 14 days.

The new application forms will be available from 1 July 2019 so be sure to use the new forms from this date onwards

SOURCE: Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR).

 

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SYNOT Games Now Certified in Sweden

BRNO, Czech Republic (July 4, 2019) -- SYNOT Games continues to increase its global footprint by being granted new major certification.

The comprehensive gaming portfolio is now freshly certified under Swedish legislation and given green light to go live on this tightly regulated market.

The development will see SYNOT Games content launched through several landmark deals with key operators.

Sweden’s market has been recently hit by regulation which changed the whole landscape. New gambling regulation came into effect in Sweden on the 1st January 2019 and the online sports betting market, online casinos and other digital products are only open to those that qualify for a license.

We are happy to announce that we have successfully completed all legal requirements in order to enter this significant market and we can’t wait to introduce our games to Swedish players through existing and also new acclaimed operators,” commented Ivan Kodaj, CEO at SYNOT Games.

SYNOT Games is an established content supplier with a growing market presence and is licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority and certified in markets across Europe. Our comprehensive portfolio boasts with more than 40 exciting titles and is available in 24 languages and live in over 70 casinos.

Learn more about the certified games or visit our game certification page.

SOURCE: SYNOT Games.

 

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Iowa Lottery Leader Expects a Strong Year When Books Are Closed

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DES MOINES, IA (July 6, 2019) -- Radio Iowa reports Lottery CEO Matt Strawn says the fiscal year that ended June 30th was a good one for the organization.

Strawn declined to give an actual figure, as he says the numbers aren’t yet final. “The Iowa Lottery is well positioned to have one of the strongest years it’s ever had in terms of not just sales — but in terms of proceeds it is able to deliver to the state,” Strawn says.

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The lottery reported total sales of 371 million dollars in the previous fiscal year and the second highest amount ever returned to the state at $87.1 million.

The Iowa Lottery had projected in budget discussions that $70 million in profit that would go to the state.

Strawn says the projection can be impacted by big jackpots that drive up sales.

That’s the challenging thing when you are putting budgets together, trying to rely on accurate revenue assessments for the lottery. So much of it ebbs and flows on whether it’s a big jackpot,” according to Strawn.

The big jackpots do impact the bottom line at the end of the fiscal year, but the original scratch ticket is still the top seller.

“Last fall we had that huge Mega Millions jackpot which really drove sales at the end of last year.

But, at the end of the day, the bread and butter of the Iowa Lottery still remains those old school scratch tickets,” Strawn says.

“Iowans like going into their convenience store, the grocery store and buying one of those scratch tickets and having some fun with it.”

Strawn was appointed by the governor in January to take over leadership at the Iowa Lottery following the retirement of previous CEO Terry Rich.

SOURCE: Radio Iowa.

 

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New State Support for Families of Fallen Peace Officers, Fire Fighters

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DES MOINES, IA (July 2, 2019) -- A new law that took effect this week will mean additional help with insurance costs for the families of Iowa peace officers and fire fighters who have died in the line of duty.

Under the new law, a state program called the Iowa Public Safety Survivor Benefits Fund has been created. The fund will provide grants to organizations that provide assistance to help pay the costs of accident or health care insurance coverage for the surviving family members of Iowa peace officers and fire fighters killed on the job. The program will receive funding each year through the proceeds that the Iowa Lottery raises for state causes.

The Iowa Lottery joined the Iowa Department of Public Safety and state lawmakers at the Iowa Peace Officer Memorial near the state Capitol today to highlight the new program.

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The Survivor Fund is the latest development in a years-long discussion about insurance for the surviving spouses and children in these tragic situations. Until 2018, if an Iowa peace officer or fire fighter died in the line of duty, the state, county or city government for which the person worked was sometimes not authorized to continue accident or health insurance coverage for that person’s family.

In 2018, state law was changed to allow that continuing coverage option and for the state, county or city involved to pay the full cost or a portion of the insurance costs involved. Family members can opt to pay any remaining expense themselves.

Logo But some families and small communities have had difficulty paying those costs, and that’s where the new Survivor Fund comes in. The Iowa Department of Public Safety will award grants through the fund each year, with half the money going to non-profit organizations that help with ongoing insurance costs for surviving families of peace officers killed in the line of duty, and half going to non-profit organizations that help with those costs for the surviving family members of fire fighters killed in the line of duty.

The Iowa Lottery will provide $100,000 in proceeds each year to the Survivor Fund. During discussions of the concept in this year’s legislative session, state lawmakers said they think $100,000 in state support will be enough to help with insurance costs for the families involved.

The Iowa Lottery will make its first transfer to the Survivor Fund in late October as part of its initial quarterly proceeds transfer to the state for the 2020 fiscal year. It will continue to transfer proceeds to the fund each October.

Many of the details regarding the new fund are still being finalized, including the administrative rules for its operation. Once those rules have been adopted, DPS will open the application process for non-profit organizations interested in receiving grants from the fund. DPS hopes to begin the application process in late calendar year 2019 or early 2020, and will make a grant application form available at that time.

SOURCE: Iowa Lottery.

 

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Lottery Drawings Produce $7.3 Million in Winnings in June While Louisiana Scratch-Off Winners Claim $11.5 million

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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (July 3, 2019) -- Purchasing a new bike and paying for a wedding were just a few of the plans Louisiana Lottery players had for some of the more than $11.5 million in scratch-off cash prizes claimed in June. The Lottery also reported over $7.3 million won during drawings held in June.

June’s draw-style game winnings included one Powerball match-5 prize of $1 million, one Powerball match-4 + PB prize worth $50,000, and 55 Powerball match-4 prizes totalling $5,500. There were also five Mega Millions match-4 + MB prizes totalling $50,000 and 23 Mega Millions match-4 prizes totalling $11,500. Ninety-one players won Lotto match-5 prizes totalling $204,561, helping to bring Lotto’s monthly total winnings to $588,336. Pick 3 winning tickets totalled $2,172,150 and Pick 4 winning tickets totalled $2,037,000.

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Two players won Easy 5 jackpot prizes totalling $150,000, which brought the game’s monthly total winnings to $283,557 with an additional $124,518 won on ezmatch, an instant-win option available for an additional $1.

More than 29,000 Power Play purchasers won an extra $186,498 in addition to their regular Powerball prizes,” Lottery President Rose Hudson said. “More than 19,000 Megaplier purchasers won a bonus total of $102,992 in addition to their regular Mega Millions prizes.” The $1 Power Play option offers Powerball players the chance to increase any nonjackpot winnings. The $1 Megaplier add-on multiplies non-jackpot Mega Millions prizes by a multiplier number selected during the drawing.

In total, draw-style game winnings from drawings held in June were $7,306,432. Lottery draw-style game players have 180 days from the date of the drawing to claim the winnings from those tickets.

We encourage players to sign the back of their tickets immediately after purchasing and to check them promptly after the drawing. Even if a ticket does not win the jackpot, it could have won another prize,” Hudson added.

In addition to $11,508,581 in scratch-off cash prizes paid during June, players also claimed $2,018,378 worth of free-ticket prizes. According to Lottery policy, scratch-off games are closed when all top prizes are claimed, and scratch-off players have 90 days from the official game closure date to redeem a winning ticket. A list of current scratch-off games, prizes remaining and claim deadlines can be found on its website.

While actual game performance and the amount of prizes claimed will vary from month to month, the Lottery allocates nearly 53.7 percent of sales to fund prizes. At least 35 percent of sales is transferred to the state treasury for the Minimum Foundation Program that funds K-12 public education in Louisiana. Retailers are paid 5.6 percent compensation, and the Lottery retains less than 6 percent of sales to operate.

Hudson reminded ticket purchasers to play responsibly, encouraging anyone who has a gambling problem, or friends and family of anyone with a gambling problem, to call toll-free 1-877-770-7867 for help.  Ticket purchasers must be at least 21 years of age.        

SOURCE: Louisiana Lottery.

 

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Gambling Commission Announce Key Role for GREO to Support the National Strategy

BIRMINGHAM, England (July 5, 2019) -- To support the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms, the Gambling Commission has announced a key new role for independent research dissemination specialist Gambling Research Exchange (GREO).

GREO will develop a programme of activity to support the new strategy’s two priority areas – Prevention and Education, and Treatment and Support, and will focus on the dissemination of research, applying research to policy and international collaboration.

Tim Miller, executive director at the Gambling Commission said: “The new role for GREO to support the National Strategy is a perfect example of the collaboration we called for in the Strategy. GREO is a well-respected independent research organisation with a wealth of experience in gambling research and dissemination. Ultimately, their expertise, networks and insight will help us and our partners to accelerate progress over the next three years.

Trudy Smit Quosai from Gambling Research Exchange added: “We are thrilled to announce our work as part of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms. It means we will be working with the best thinkers around the world to help tackle the issue and provide independent, evidence-based research to support the strategy’s priorities.

Funding for the work will come from Gambling Commission regulatory settlements.

For more information please visit: reducinggamblingharms.org.

SOURCE: Gambling Commission.

 

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Growing Incremental Revenue with Fast Play

Article By: John Turner Gilliland, Public Information Officer, Arizona Lottery

PHOENIX, AZ (July 11, 2019) -- Lotteries across North America are all facing differing challenges. Some are struggling with their state legislatures to implement i-Lottery. Others are working to start up Keno or sports betting. Still more are looking to develop new ways to work around restrictions that bring them into conflict with public and private gaming interests.

Opportunities to introduce new games that promise to bend the sales trajectory upward are limited in Arizona due to state statute and tribal gaming compacts. In early 2018, the Arizona Lottery revived the Fast Play game line with their then newly-contracted (2016) vendor, Scientific Games, replacing two under-performing games with a game that was already performing well in other states. 

Developing and launching Fast Play was broken down into overlapping phases spanning seven months, from inception to gameplay: Product and Game Structure Development, Creative Strategy Development and Production, Software Development, Education and Awareness. Each was narrowly focused and data-driven to ensure the highest probability of success.

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Detailed focus group research identified key components that would be crucial to Fast Play’s success:  Easily understood play mechanics, a hybrid play style (a draw game’s prize structures with the spontaneity of Scratchers® ticket play), improvements to the user interface and security, frequent payoffs, and good odds of winning. 

The focus groups also showed that educating both players and retailers would make or break Fast Play. Important points included informing players on the odds of winning (similar to Scratchers) and making retailers knowledgeable enough about the new line to familiarize players with it.

Getting that retailer buy-in was the ultimate aim of the online education program and promotion. Arizona Lottery took care to instruct retailers and address their service cycle fears while preparing them to sell Fast Play, providing them the tools (sell-in sheets, instructional videos and training) needed to make this new game a success. 

Nielsen Prime Lingo (Phoenix Designated Market Area) data pointed to millennials as the target demographic for this education strategy, as 90% own smartphones and account for 40% of Arizona service workers, with almost half (45%) working in C-stores and grocery stores and watching videos on their phones in the past month. With this in mind, the Arizona Lottery designed a promotion for these retail employees, not unlike a player-facing second chance promotion, that rewarded them for viewing videos about the Fast Play line. The Arizona Lottery tracked 1,036 entries from 182 retailers, each representing a training session for a clerk to more capably and confidently sell Fast Play.

The Arizona Lottery then conducted a statewide soft launch to educate players and give retailers an opportunity to put their education into practice before the crush of the crowd that would come with Fast Play’s subsequent hard launch and advertising campaign. A training script facilitated uniform communication from retailers to players and the Arizona Lottery began selling the game. A concurrent consumer awareness promotion awarded Powerball and Mega Millions players free Fast Play tickets to introduce this new line to draw game players and create awareness. 

The Arizona Lottery then implemented the hard launch with events in Phoenix and Tucson. This included print, radio, television, direct mail, and out of home (OOH) advertising, as well as less conventional marketing channels, such as aggressive social media marketing, Facebook Live videos and brand ambassadors at hundreds of select stores. Branding centered on “Windfall Willie,” an award-winning live-action mascot portrayed as a typical Arizona frontier prospector, with a decades-long history associated with the Arizona Lottery. 

This marketing strategy represented a significant investment: $2.166 million, almost 14% of the Arizona Lottery’s total marketing budget ($15.5 million) in FY18, and it paid off. Fast Play sales exceeded $20 million in the first calendar year (2018-2019), adding a revenue stream that is more profitable than much of the Scratchers line. Retailer and player education efforts helped both groups get ahead of Fast Play’s learning curve, which further spurred sales. This innovative and comprehensive marketing campaign was recognized by industry professionals with a Gold ADDY from the American Advertising Federation for Best Integrated Campaign in the Phoenix area in March, 2019. 

As this white paper shows, retailer buy-in is critical to foster knowledgeable gameplay and induce player trial. These efforts demonstrated the demand and profitability of this line for retailers and further incentivized their efforts to sell the game. Fast Play is also having a positive effect on other games while operating within the tight bounds of state statutes and tribal compacts, providing the Arizona Lottery a template to apply to maximize success when bringing new games to market.

Click here to read the full Arizona Lottery white paper.

Article By: John Turner Gilliland, Public Information Officer, Arizona Lottery.

 

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Svenska Spel Supports Gambling Addiction Research - Projects Can Share SEK 5 Million

VISBY, Sweden (July 5, 2019) -- At the Research Day in October, the country's foremost researchers and actors in gambling addiction gather. Here are also presented the projects that received grants from the Research Council.

The Swedish Games Research Council has granted research funding to five new research projects within gambling addiction. They are allowed to share SEK 5 million.

It is with great pleasure that we have selected projects that have the potential to contribute to increased knowledge about gambling addiction,” says Sara Lindholm, Chairman of the Research Council.

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A project will map the dependence on elite players in Swedish ice hockey, another will develop a new internet-based treatment for gambling addiction, and a third will investigate the connection between trauma and gambling problems in women. It is three of the five Swedish research projects that will have a share of SEK 5 million, granted by Svenska Spel's independent Research Council.

I see that the Research Council's long-term work to increase knowledge in the area has had an impact in the public debate, it is gratifying,” says Sara Lindholm.

Svenska Spel started the Research Council 2010 in order to increase knowledge and understanding of gambling problems and how to best prevent them. The Council consists of experienced researchers and representatives from social interests. They have been commissioned to assess and grant applications for research funding based on scientific quality and societal relevance.

At Svenska Spel we strive to offer safe games and gaming environments. To be able to develop our gaming responsibility, it is a prerequisite to support research. Through the Research Council, we want to increase the knowledge and understanding of gambling problems,” says Scarlett Roa, Sustainability Manager Svenska Spel.

The research projects will be presented on Research Day, 7 October.

SOURCE: Svenska Spel.

 

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