The Georgia Lottery is the first US online lottery to roll out a new mobile product that its developer says will help appeal to the younger demographics that typically don’t play lotteries.
On Friday, the Georgia Lottery announced the launch of Star Match, a first-of-its-kind product from California-based mobile lottery developer LottoInteractive. Star Match, which is powered by International Game Technology’s iLotttery platform, combines a match-3 game with the chance to win cash via a digital scratch ticket.
Star Match mirrors a traditional gem-matching game, using Hollywood icons instead of jewels. The more matches you make, the more ‘star power’ you’re awarded. Play poorly and you get six stars, while good matchers will get the maximum 18 stars. From that point, you attempt to scratch and match three of your stars to earn prizes from free plays to $10k.
The product costs $2 per play and is available for desktop, iOS and Android devices. Players outside Georgia can demo a free-play version.
LottoInteractive CEO Brian Ward told USA Today that Star Match would appeal to the legions of social gamers who up to now have been unable to win anything but virtual credits via their game play, as well as offering something new to traditional lottery players.
Ward says work is already underway on other games that will integrate “a bunch of social engagement and retention mechanics,” as well as easy ways for players to purchase national lottery tickets for Powerball and Mega Millions.
Ward said his company was talking to reps in Michigan – the only other US state lottery besides Kentucky to offer instant win digital games – as well as lottery operators in Canada and Europe about adding Star Match to their digital menu.
Lotteries aren’t alone in recognizing the need to replenish their aging audiences by wooing younger demographics that have so far shown less interest in typical gambling products. Land-based casinos are racing to equip their gaming floors with new types of slots that incorporate the skill-based elements in which the millennial generation puts so much stock.