NASPL PDS: IGT Looks Beyond the Horizon

Fourteen IGT subject matter experts discussed various aspects of lottery operation and growth across 12 speaking slots at this year’s NASPL Professional Development Seminar (PDS), held from July 22-25 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Each year, NASPL (the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries) holds the seminar to bring together lottery representatives from the U.S. and Canada, as well as suppliers and vendors from across the industry.

Kicking off IGT’s participation this year was Patrick Kamm, Vice President, Technology Operations, who participated on a panel during the General Session to discuss the benefits, challenges, and risks associated with systems modernization, a topic that’s top-of-mind for lotteries today. He reinforced the importance of transparency and collaboration in the multi-vendor environment in which IGT operates. Also in the General Session, Paul Riley, Vice President, Innovation and Lottery Transformation, representing NASPL’s Standard API (Application Programming Interface) Working Group, provided an industry update on the API initiative. One of the industry’s initial priorities was to develop a lottery API to make it easier for lotteries to sell in-lane and through large corporate-chain retailers. Additionally, Riley touched upon upcoming in-lane deployments, including IGT’s launch of two new in-lane offerings with the Texas Lottery Commission.


Ernie Perez, Manager, Business Operations (Texas) and Interim Account Development Manager, Arizona Lottery, provided his insights and knowledge during a panel on audit and integrity verification in Random Number Generators (RNG) within the Audit/Information Technology/Security track. The discussion focused on RNG drawing operations in conjunction with audit and drawing verification software to perform the Texas Lottery’s Second-Chance drawings.

Within the Legal track, Kim Barker Lee, Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion participated in a panel focused on HR Risk Management and the #MeToo movement, providing insight on diversity, inclusion, and how workplace culture can shift via collaboration with legal counsel to lead the way on prevention, risk management, and inclusion.

Robert Hochstein, Vice President, Legal Counsel, Americas, participated on the General Counsel Open Roundtable. Some key topics of discussion were new issues in lottery procurements, the pros and cons of third-party integration, and sports betting developments following the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturn of the law prohibiting sports betting.

Within the Research track, Tom Stanek, Sr. Director, Global Retail Sales & Marketing presented “IGT & Environics: Optimizing the World of Big Data for Consumer & Retail,” focusing on consumer preferences and leveraging mobile data to better understand their path to purchase for consumer goods, including lottery products.

Also within the Research track, Paul Riley and Gerard Caro, Senior Director, Marketing Insights co-presented IGT’s new “Connected Player” global research. Consumers are encountering more and more digital connectivity in their daily lives, from cashless payments and data-driven personalization to the use of voice-enabled services and smart home assistants. To assist lotteries in meeting this challenge, IGT is developing a vision, based on consumer research, of Connected Play, along with products and services to advance lottery via engagement with digital touchpoints. The new IGT study employed an innovative on-line video methodology for capturing research-subject input. The session covered the quantitative and qualitative research methodology, including respondent video diaries, as well as the insights and potential application to the lottery industry.

Amy Morin, Senior Director, Lottery Marketing and Jasmin Blackmar, Director, New Media and Product Development, participated in a panel within the Accounting/Product Managers track, discussing the opportunities and challenges presented by second-chance games. They shared insights on how the games can be a tool for lotteries to retain players, hold their interest, and give them additional chances for smaller winnings, and they shed light on some of the challenges. Second-chance drawings also provide the opportunity to create the ultimate player experience for these winners, ultimately boosting goodwill toward the lotteries and, often times, fueling repeat purchases.  

In the Information Technology track, Jason Barrs, Senior Director, PlayDigital, Lottery Product Marketing, spoke on “Mobile and the Consumer.” Mobile is the number-one channel of choice for consumers, driving IGT’s breadth of research, design knowledge, and development experience on mobile. Barrs touched on global leading practices, convenience, and wagering features, as well as the direct brand impressions a positive mobile experience can provide. 

Steve Desautels, Director, Retail Sales and Marketing Execution, co-presented “Kroger’s Lottery Category Revolution” with Jessica MacLeod, Senior Manager of Prepaid Services at Kroger Co. Kroger and IGT worked hand-in-hand on a national improvement plan, implementing new initiatives including Kroger’s internal focus on lottery, new processes and procedures to sell at all consumer access points, new merchandising options, and enhanced cross-jurisdictional reporting.

In the Product Marketing track, Kary Hacker, Senior Account Executive, and Nick Schell, Account Executive, presented “Instant Game Industry Trends.” The two highlighted prevalent industry trends, including the expansion of higher price points, families of games, large format tickets, innovative prize structures, and seasonal games. Michael Kumar, Senior Director, Same Store Sales, presented on optimizing prize structures with Dale Bowersock, Scratch Ticket Strategy Coordinator at the Texas Lottery Commission.

Each year, PDS provides an excellent avenue for thoughtful discussions on industry trends, best practices, and case studies. IGT appreciates the opportunity to participate in such conversations as we work closely with customers to continue to evolve the lottery space.

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