Q: How is Scientific Games currently supporting customers in Canada, and what direction do you see the customer-vendor relationship headed?
Scientific Games has about 300 employees in Canada. In 2011, we printed over $4 billion in instant tickets from our Montreal facility that were exported throughout the world. We provide systems technology for Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) and British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), as well as terminals for Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG). Our instants contracts with ALC, Loto- Quebec, and OLG continue to drive returns to beneficiaries. We are also the 2012 supplier of Canada’s national instant games, and the games are selling well. As the first step in their purchasing decisions, many lotteries are now taking a very forward- planning approach by embarking upon a strategic review of their current technology, operations and business processes. Lotteries are looking at opportunities to bundle services with vendors such as Scientific Games to gain access to an integrated partnership model, centers of innovation and a powerful purchasing structure tied to the economics of the business.
Q: Where is Scientific Games focusing innovation efforts in the coming years?
Globally, lotteries are focused on growth and are returning to an investment in innovation. This allows Scientific Games to look at long-term investment through innovation and the return on investment. Where lotteries have invested in their retail network, payouts of games, advertising and technology, there has been growth. We are a global leader in the instant product category. We actually first began printing instant tickets in Canada in the 1970s. The extended play category we launched for the very first time here with ALC in the 1980s makes up a good portion of Canada’s $2 billion a year in instant game sales today. The current lottery business can be optimized if you have player knowledge, leading game content, and payout/prize structure analytics to drive innovation. We’ve seen growth in Italy, China, and the U.S. with the adoption of best practices through our Cooperative Services Programs – and Canada can have that same success. Distribution is a key driver of success, working with the traditional retail network to optimize distribution, launch new games, and grow retail sales. We are doing all of this in parallel to investing in and growing the internet channel and our interactive products. Scientific Games will continue to focus innovation on the marriage of instant products and interactive – relationship based marketing, colorful instant games, having elements of the game reveal interactively, and driving the relationship at retail.