With most provincial jurisdictions now operating an online gaming site or portal, what developments have been happening within your organization with respect to mobile lottery gaming?
Cameron Adams: BCLC operates PlayNow.com that provides a full range of products including lottery, casino, poker, bingo, and sports betting. A primary focus for BCLC moving forward will be to integrate the mobile experience across our Internet, retail lottery, and casino business. In some cases this will be custom experiences only available on mobile devices, while in other cases mobile is a complement to existing experiences with the goal of providing a connected experience across channels.
Louis-Philippe Lussier: For several years our players have had the option to view game results in a mobile-friendly manner on the mobile web and within our iOS app. In March 2015 we added lottery ticket purchasing capabilities to our app, which is optimized for iPhone and iPad. We are actively working on bringing additional options to our players, including offering our app on Android devices and optimizing other product categories such as iBingo for mobile.
What are the biggest challenges when it comes to lottery gaming on mobile devices and how do you see organization addressing these challenges?
CA: A big challenge is the rapid pace of change in both technology and customer expectations. As app usage on mobile devices increases, people’s expectations are increasing as well, based on the experiences they have with the latest mobile game or mobile application. In a regulated environment such as lottery or casino gaming, player expectations are set by the latest hit mobile game and new social game experiences, therefore an ability to adapt to these changing expectations is critical to stand out and make an impact.
LL: Lotteries have been accustomed to having complete control over the technologies that serve their products. Those days are gone with the emergence of mobile. New devices and form factors appear all the time, as demonstrated by the latest wearable technologies hitting the market. Combine this with a constant stream of updates on the major mobile operating systems and there is a natural inclination to design for the lowest common denominator because it is easier to manage. Despite the complexities of the mobile environment, customer expectations are high. There is a need to strike the right balance between offering a great user experience, building something that is easy to maintain, and delivering responsible ROI to our shareholders.
What are the key components or factors in establishing a responsible and successful mobile lottery gaming platform?
CA: A great user experience is a key component to success with mobile. This means not trying to insert as many features and functions as possible just because they are ‘cool’. Customers increasingly are adapting and responding to clear, defined user journeys that aren’t bogged down by useless functionality. Furthermore, these experiences need to take into account the context of players’ use of their mobile device. For example, how does mobile complement the retail experience or increase convenience? Likewise, for the business, what are the key features that are driving value for customers that provide a return to the business; mobile is increasingly complex and costly for development in a regulated industry.
LL: Focus on the user. Offer features that address unmet needs, especially those that can’t be addressed in other channels. Recognize the uniqueness of the mobile space; don’t assume a copy/paste of your desktop presence. Build on top of a strong RG toolset.