IGT Indiana tells the State Lottery Commission that it plans to conduct market research during Fiscal Year 2019 to assess the viability of monitor and interactive games, an expansion that would allow the Hoosier Lottery to reach a new generation of customers.
One of the games under consideration is keno, the fast-paced selection game offered with some degree of success by three of Indiana’s neighboring states – Ohio, Kentucky, and Michigan – and approximately 16 state lotteries overall. Keno is typically played through monitors located in bars, restaurants, and other social environments.
IGT will also take a serious look at online gaming, known in the industry as iLottery.
Seven states sell lottery games online, including, coincidentally, our neighbors in Illinois, Michigan, and Kentucky. Michigan has the most successful online lottery operation in the country, with combined sales of approximately $500 million in FY 2015 and FY 2016.
Few states have taken the online lottery plunge, although demographic trends suggest maybe they should.
A 2016 Gallup survey found 61% of Americans in the 50 to 64 age group play the Lottery . . . compared to just one-third of Americans aged 18 to 29.
States with iLottery generally allow players to make online purchases of traditional draw games like Powerball and Mega Millions, while also offering players the ability to access a mix of interactive games and electronic scratch-offs or “einstants.” Online instant game play may also include lower denominations not available at traditional retailers such as $0.05, $0.10, and $0.25.
Look for IGT to spend FY 2019 evaluating whether the innovations are feasible. If a decision is made to move forward, the company will present an action plan to the State Lottery Commission, which will undoubtedly not make such a major policy change without input from Governor Eric Holcomb (R).