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Building relevance with a new generation

Like most other industries, many lottery companies are facing an important challenge: How to attract a new, younger generation to their products in order to build a stronger and more sustainable customer base?

It’s a question that Craig Storey, Atlantic Lottery’s chief commercial officer, was recently asked to tackle when he was among the global lottery industry leaders participating in the World Gaming Executive Summit, or WGES. The annual event took place virtually this year, giving the opportunity for lottery leaders to collaborate as they seek to rethink, rebuild and recover a time of unprecedented disruption in the gaming industry. Speakers covered a variety of gaming industry categories, including sports betting, esports, casino and corporate social responsibility.

Speaking on the Lottery panel with counterparts from companies in the United Kingdom, United States and Germany, the theme was “New games, new players, new relationships” and Storey’s focus was on the importance of appealing to the 19-35 year old age group.

“I don’t think the industry overall has admitted there’s a problem. Most aren’t addressing it. We have a different perspective,” he said. “It’s a wake up call. If we don’t figure out how to bring a younger demographic to our business, our days are numbered.”

Doing Lottery Differently

While games like Lotto Max and Lotto 6/49 have been popular among traditional lottery players for decades, today’s younger players have generally shown a greater preference for more interactivity, such as Sports, Scratch’N Win, Breakopen and Digital Instants. Storey said Atlantic Lottery has launched games in recent years with this market specifically in mind, including the Cats vs. Dogs and Poutine for Life scratch tickets.

But beyond developing new products, he said other factors are also important to attracting and serving younger players, such as ensuring a social and seamless offering, both at retail and online.

“We’ve got to design better experiences the whole way through that are more relevant to that demographic. This segment is intolerant of digital friction.”

Storey added that younger players also demand an element of social good from the products and companies they support, stemming from a desire to benefit to the general public. With 100 per cent of its profits returned to the Atlantic provinces and partnerships with community events and non-profit groups like A Dollar A Day, he said Atlantic Lottery already fits that requirement, but can do more to demonstrate its commitment.

“Are we doing things to help make society better? We have to make stronger communities.”

Leading the Way

Storey said that events like WGES provide an opportunity for Atlantic Lottery to learn from others that are leading the way on the global stage, providing insight into how to better serve and attract players here at home.

“We don’t have all the answers,” he said. “Knowing that the digital and mobile worlds are more advanced in places like Europe, they have a market advantage that we can learn from.”

But Storey added that Atlantic Lottery, which became the first lottery in North America to sell products online in 2004, also has achievements of which it can be proud.

“We also have some lessons of our own that we can share with them,” he said, pointing to Atlantic Lottery’s investments in recent years updating its technology and mobile app updates, which allow it to offer better player experiences online and at retail. “We can experiment and take things to market quicker than bigger players and regions can. That’s our advantage.”