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Vicky Nolan

Is 'Fun' in Store for Lotteries in the Future?

9 March 2001

FunLotto has yet to sign any contracts with a lottery for use of its innovative new FunLottoT product, but with honors taken at the Smart-Tech 2001 lottery industry conference under its belt, the company appears to be in a good position to get busy. The patent-pending software system, designed to allow lotteries to offer play from PCs through a virtual private network (VPN), won the "Smart Ideas Award" at last month's conference, and FunLotto now looks to showcase the product for the rest of the lottery world.

"We truly believe FunLottoT is the technology answer that lottery and gaming officials have been searching for," explained FunLotto founder and CEO Keith Myers.

The system is simple. To use it, players first obtain the FunLottoT software kit from a traditional lottery retailer. The kits include software, a smart card reader and a smart card. (To obtain the kit, lottery players must provide proof of age, thus satisfying state age requirements. The smart card is then linked to the player's driver's license or other identification.) The kit is scanned to the player and to the point-of-purchase (POS) retailer, satisfying tracking requirements and giving the POS retailer credit for the player's future ticket purchases. This also enables the retailer to maintain its share of any future winnings that are from the smart card and software acquired at its store.

Once home, the player installs the software on his PC and connects the smart card reader to an external computer port. The FunLottoT program can then be launched from the desktop, and players access the lottery's private game server through a VPN. Players never connect with the Internet to buy tickets.

The smart card serves as an authentication device, verifying that he or she is allowed onto the lottery site and also gains the player access to his or her bank account.

As a result, players can purchase lottery tickets online and in real-time using a smart card ticketing application and employing an encrypted, full processing smart card.

"The beauty of this system is that it is debit-based not credit-based," Myers added. "Players cannot spend money they don't have."

The smart card approach provides another benefit. "Problem gaming can be detected and spending limits can be set, all from the lottery server site," Myers said.

While several lotteries are keenly interested in the product, none have yet signed the dotted line. Myers said they would like to work with a lottery that's part of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL).

"This is a totally safe, secure and customized system for each lottery depending on their needs," Myers explained.

Jeffrey DeLeone, who serves as FunLotto's vice president of marketing and government affairs, added, "This system was designed from a 'public policy meets technology' perspective. Given the decline in U.S. state lottery revenues, my colleagues and I set out to build a system that will target new demographic markets and breathe new life into the lottery industry."

The system should be ready for beta testing by the end of May.

Is 'Fun' in Store for Lotteries in the Future? is republished from
Vicky Nolan
Vicky Nolan