Interview | Fotis Konstantellos, Group Chief Lotteries Officer, INTRALOT, Yogonet, March 2020
"2020 will see a more open approach to lottery and gaming as an entertainment product being adopted across geographies"
The executive talks with Yogonet about the company's new flagship PhotonX terminal, unveiled at ICE London. He says the industry shift towards entertainment should not be bounded to the digital world, but spread across the value chain and all delivery channels, as evident from the emergence of concepts like retailtainment and experiential retailing. He believes the epicenter of industry developments and Intralot’s strategic focus will continue to be the US market in 2020 and beyond.
What were INTRALOT’s focus and highlights at ICE London 2020? Have you met your key expectations and goals for the show?
During ICE 2020, INTRALOT showcased its commitment in modernizing lotteries in the digital era and we had the opportunity to exhibit our market-proven solutions and latest breakthrough product innovations to a great number of visitors. Among the solutions lined up for ICE were our legacy-free omni-channel lottery and sports betting platforms, LotosX and INTRALOT Orion. Along with a wide range of POS and on-property solutions that was demonstrated, we unveiled our new flagship PhotonX terminal which was among our highlights during ICE 2020. Meeting with our partners and presenting our solutions is always an exciting and enlightening experience for us. The great engagement and positive feedback received during ICE 2020 from the visitors from all over the world made it a rewarding one as well. Therefore, we consider the event a big success and a mark for the beginning of an exciting year where the company will underlie once again the commitment and dedication in providing the industry with the very best innovative products and solutions.
What was the feedback particularly for PhotonX, which you launched at the event and also received an IGA award before the show? What further details and expectations could you share regarding that product?
The IGA Award, that came up before the show, was the best way to acknowledge our company’s hard work as well as our consistent, innovative presence in the gaming industry. PhotonX inherits our patented and field-proven camera technology, introduced in 2009, which significantly reduces operation and maintenance costs of operators.
This important distinction is a special honor for us since it verifies and rewards INTRALOT’s commitment to deliver innovative products and solutions that shape the future of gaming. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our Customers and Partners as well as our Engineering and Products teams who made this achievement possible. We look forward to providing even more innovative and exciting options to better serve our valued clientele while offering a dynamic players’ experience. Designed with the industry’s most powerful processing units and memory options, PhotonX brings a range of benefits to the Operator, the Retailer, and the Player at the retail touchpoint. Our customers and partners had the chance to explore PhotonX during the show and have been impressed by the terminal’s power and performance as well as by the build-in capability to drive digital signage content in 4K resolution, without the need of an external media player. We were also pleased to celebrate this award in our booth with our Lottery customer that has placed the first order of PhotonX, an award that came to justify their choice. PhotonX is just one example of our complete product portfolio revamp that comes to shape the future of retail operations.
What are the novelties and distinctive features presented by your lottery products?
INTRALOT has heavily invested in the past years to revamp its complete product portfolio by combining its 25 years of operational experience with the latest technology evolutions. Our latest products have been already utilized to deliver complete future proof Lottery Solutions, already live in two major jurisdictions while more launches planned in the coming quarters. As showcased during ICE, lottery operators can benefit from the a fully decoupled, scalable, and expandable Lottery Solution based on LotosX platform, the most parametrical games and draw management platform that centrally serves all gaming information to all channels and touchpoints in the most consistent and omni-channel proposition. It is surrounded by a superset of enablers that manage the retail network as well as the players, using contemporary market propositions in terms of incentivization, loyalty, and engagement. Regarding touchpoints, our PhotonX camera-based terminal and a range of Self-Service terminals and Vending Machines support multiple participation methods and innovative, engaging content. Last but not least, our iLottery solution covers all features required for an immersive and entertaining experience. Once again, all our latest products and the new features launched are driven by our consistent focus on operation excellence, end to end security, integrity and revenue growth.
Is INTRALOT Orion your key offering and strategy to enter a fast-growing and highly competitive market such as US sports betting?
With the overturning of PASPA, clearly the United States has the potential to become one of the world’s largest regulated sports betting market and definitely we see some great opportunities for the U.S. lotteries entering the sports betting market. INTRALOT has strategic plans underway to increase its sports betting focus in the US, and have secured partnerships with the State Lotteries in the District of Columbia, Montana, New Hampshire and New Mexico. For this purpose, we have introduced a holistic Sports Betting Solution. At the heart of this solution, we have developed our new fully integrated and versatile sports betting platform INTRALOT Orion with proprietary CMS and CRM. In addition, INTRALOT offers world class services in trading, risk management, marketing services (customer acquisition/retention, campaign and loyalty, affiliate management, Customer Support) as well as constant customer support. All the above are supported with a complete offering of retailer terminals, vending machines and online ecosystem. Our Sports Betting solution, with its cross-channel, cross-vertical capabilities can easily integrate with most current U.S. lottery infrastructures. Managing more than 65 sports with different pricing models for over 24 sports, 24,000 In-Play events and 30,000 Pre-Game events per month capacity, and more than 800 different market types strongly empower us in delivering enhanced propositions to our customers that enable growth acceleration.
Could you share your prospects and outlook for the global gaming industry in 2020, regarding trends, emerging markets and technologies, new demands and player generations, challenges and opportunities, etc.? What are your strategies and approach in that sense?
As we enter the year and reflecting on the hot-topics and innovations showcased during ICE 2020, it’s evident that the lottery and gaming industry is set to sharply become more entertainment driven, which will offer more opportunities and benefits for both the consumer and the industry at large. In this sense, we expect that 2020 will see a more open approach to lottery and gaming as an entertainment product being adopted across geographies, in terms of content, user experience as well as the promotion and marketing of gaming products. We are certain that such an approach can firmly position the regulated industry for the years to come vis-a-vis the widening debate on responsible gambling. Having said that, we believe that this industry shift towards entertainment should not and would not be bounded to the digital world but spread across the value chain and all delivery channels as evident from the emergence of the concepts like retailtainment and experiential retailing.
Now regarding geographies, I believe that the epicenter of industry developments, and INTRALOT’s strategic focus, will continue to be the US market in 2020 and beyond, as sports betting legislation will continue to proliferate from State to State and gain momentum, while the expansion of online gaming could speed up in the year. We expect governments and lotteries to begin the process of authorizing legal sports betting and online gaming, or at least debating it, in several States within the year, spurred by the increased fiscal needs.
The interview is orginaliy publsished at the Yogonet website here.