US lotteries have a new option to bolster their dull-as-dishwater offering through new instant-win version of virtual sports products.
This week’s lottery news may be dominated by the record $1.6b MegaMillions jackpot up for grabs Tuesday night, but outside of the occasional headline-grabbing payday, playing the lottery remains an activity dominated by an older generation of gamblers for whom staid predictability is not a bug but a feature.
Enter Inspired Gaming and IWG, who’ve just announced a partnership to supply North American lottery operators with a brand new product: instant win versions of virtual sports. The first product, based on individual virtual football plays, will make its debut later this year.
The idea is to further compress the already shortened timelines for virtual sports products to engage the attention-deficit disordered brains of younger gamblers, many of whom likely find flipping a coin too prolonged an activity to bother sticking around to learn the outcome.
The partnership involves combining Inspired’s long track record of virtual sports excellence with IWG’s lottery and commercial operator network. The new products will be accessible online via IWG’s Progressive Play RGS.
IWG CEO Rhydian Fisher said the new virtual games were “beautifully simple” and a “good entry point” for customers who might not be all that familiar with sports betting, which continues to expand rapidly across the US in the wake of this spring’s Supreme Court ruling.
Inspired’s executive chairman Loren Weil echoed this last point, saying that the spread of sports betting and mobile gaming meant lottery operators “need to get creative to stay competitive.” Weil insisted that the new virtual products’ “instant gratification and digital format have the ability to reinforce currrent offerings and attract new players.”
Inspired introduced virtual sports products into New Jersey’s online gambling market one year ago and more recently launched two new virtual sports games for the Pennsylvania Lottery, drawing fire from the state’s casino operators, who felt this represented an unwarranted encroachment into their (as yet unlaunched) sports betting turf.