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A focus on innovation guides Atlantic Lottery into the future

On Oct. 1, 2018, CEO and president Brent Scrimshaw released Atlantic Lottery’s 2017-18 Annual Report to the public at an event at Volta Labs, a tech startup hub in Halifax.

The release of the annual report plays an important role in Atlantic Lottery’s mandate to be transparent and accountable to its owners – the four provincial governments – and to the people of Atlantic Canada, since 100 per cent of profits are returned to their communities, whether they play lottery games or not. It’s a chance to update on the corporation’s financial performance, which last year saw $419.2 million in profit returned to the provinces, surpassing the goal set at the beginning of the year.

Beyond the numbers, however, the annual report is a chance for Atlantic Lottery to tell its story to its players, shareholders and all Atlantic Canadians. It’s an opportunity to highlight some of the successes and challenges from the past year and explain where the company is going next.

Focus on Innovation

In 2017-18, the story of Atlantic Lottery was inextricably linked with innovation. In his presentation, Scrimshaw highlighted the disruption in the gaming industry as unregulated, overseas websites become increasing active across Canada. With this added competition, Scrimshaw said it was critical for Atlantic Lottery to adapt.

“We need to be agile, making the right decisions every day to stay relevant to our players,” he said, highlighting Atlantic Lottery’s successful implementation of enabling technology infrastructure, including new systems for both retail lottery and iLottery, as well as broad new digital applications online and through new mobile iOS and Android apps.

Combined with an emphasis on creating an innovative and agile culture, Scrimshaw said the new technology will allow for quicker and more cost-effective development and deployment of the new games, promotions and experiences that players have come to expect.

“This is at the core of what Atlantic Lottery is all about. We know our players have more options than ever and we want to make sure we are able to give them everything they’re looking for, while also offering the peace of mind of knowing they’re playing in a safe and regulated environment.”

Economic Development

Scrimshaw’s presentation was followed by a panel discussion involving some of Atlantic Canada’s brightest and most experienced minds in the innovation sector. Moderated by Gillian McCrae, venture manager with Creative Destruction Lab Atlantic, the panel included Bernie Miller, deputy minister of business with the Nova Scotia Government; Melody Pardoe, chief engagement officer at Canada’s Ocean Supercluster; and Barry Bisson, CEO of Propel ICT.

While each brought their own unique perspective to the discussion, a common theme was that Atlantic Canada – with its small size, high quality of life and concentration of post-secondary education institutions – has all the right conditions to become an epicentre of innovation.