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New Michigan lottery terminals are giving retailers fits

Michigan LotteryMichigan Lottery: New Michigan lottery terminals are giving retailers fits

Numerous glitches have popped up on the touch-screen devices that use satellite technology

LANSING, Mich. — The new generation of Michigan Lottery machines is giving some retailers fits as the devices sometimes go on the blink in this winter's harsh weather.

The state began replacing 11,000 older model machines last fall, and the conversion should be completed by month's end.

But unlike the old system, which used phone lines, the new one relies on satellite technology.

In snowy, windy weather, the newer machines sometimes freeze up, and retailers can't make sales during the down time, which they say has been for as long as an hour at a time.

Lottery officials say the problems go beyond the weather; they blame the situation on "glitches" in the satellite technology system. They say they are working to find solutions.

Meantime, many of the retailers are irked.

"It's a terrible terminal, it's so slow. I liked the old one 10 times better because the problems were easier to fix," said John Kenyon, owner of Luke's Gift & Sweet Shoppe at Oakland Mall in Troy. "I'm located in the middle of a mall, and sometimes I get huge lines because the new machine is six, seven times slower."

Mike Sawa, owner of Oak Liquor and Wine in Oak Park, one of the state's top retailers, says his two new terminals quit working for brief periods.

"Of course, I'm losing customers; people don't want to wait. And with this new machine, everything is slow," Sawa said.

Linda Gonzales, manager of JP's West, a Detroit bar and restaurant, said she's had problems with the new terminals, but normally they're resolved by a simple phone call to a Michigan Lottery technician.

But she said this week has been more troublesome, with the brutal weather. On Tuesday, the Club Keno machine froze and wouldn't accept bets.

"We had probably four (patrons) who just left," she said.

Many retailers are happy with the sleek, new terminals, which have touchpad screens, thermal images, laser printers and flat-screen TV monitors.

"Mine hasn't gone down, and I haven't had any problems," said Phillip Shouneyia, who owns Joslyn Market in Pontiac.

Lottery officials acknowledge that the situation is frustrating.

"While some of the problems are weather-related, not all of them are," said Andi Brancato, the agency's spokeswoman. "It's hard to pin down how many terminals may have been down at any one time because it's an intermittent problem," she said.

Brancato said technicians are trying to iron out the kinks so sales aren't interrupted.

"It doesn't appear we've had any significant negative (economic) impact at all because it's not like the retailers have been down for days," she said.

Last year, the Michigan Lottery had about $2.3 billion in sales.

Nick Matti, owner of Bee Bee's Liquor Store in Warren, processes a ticket for customer Jose Vas on the store's new touch-screen lottery machine.
Nick Matti, owner of Bee Bee's Liquor Store in Warren, processes a ticket for customer Jose Vas on the store's new touch-screen lottery machine.

Detroit News

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5 comments. Last comment 8 years ago by LckyLary.
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charmed7's avatar - Lottery-013.jpg
MICHIGAN
United States
Member #65282
September 22, 2008
1992 Posts
Offline
Posted: January 16, 2009, 8:26 am - IP Logged

If its giving retailers a fit,   Think what its  doing to the PLAYERS!!!!!!Chair

    wizeguy's avatar - animaniacs04

    United States
    Member #15143
    May 10, 2005
    414 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: January 16, 2009, 8:59 am - IP Logged

    "It doesn't appear we've had any significant negative (economic) impactat all because it's not like the retailers have been down for days,"she said.

     

    Sheesh!

      Think's avatar - lightbulb
      Marquette, MI
      United States
      Member #20541
      August 20, 2005
      705 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: January 16, 2009, 10:17 pm - IP Logged

      "It doesn't appear we've had any significant negative (economic) impact at all because it's not like the retailers have been down for days," she said.

      Geez, I thought it was just my part of the state that the MSL does not care about.

      We are supposed to get our drawings live on channel 3 here.  Channel 3 is a Wisconsin station.  We are lucky if Channel 3 actually airs the drawings more than twice per week!
      I foolishly watched it at 7:29 today and they did NOT air tonights drawing! (what a surprise)

      I have given up trying to call the 800 number to get the results because that is always busy.

      When I ask a retailer to print the winning numbers they either dont know how to do it or they act irritated.

      Well guess what?  It has had an impact on their sales but not "any significant negative (economic) impact "

      I know people who wont buy tickets in Michigan anymore and they go to Wisconsin to buy their online tickets.

      I have experienced the slow Michigan machines also.  They can take several minutes to print a ticket and the clerks get flustered because the lines build up and they dont know when the machine will decide to print a ticket so they dont wave non-lottery purchases through and then they lose  sales because those people leave.

        Avatar
        Republic of Texas
        United States
        Member #57557
        January 9, 2008
        1095 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: January 17, 2009, 7:36 am - IP Logged

        I walked in to a QD the other day, no one at the counter. I cashed 2 scratch tickets, bought 3 fantasy 5's qp, 1 scratch ticket (no delay in picking one - I knew which one I needed), and a bacardi peach red. (lol)  By the time I was done paying by cash mind you, all three cash registers were going and about 10 people were standing behind me.

        Not sure if I can blame it all on the new terminal, though it seemed to respond slower.

        face

        singlewinnersinglewinnersinglewinner   

          Avatar

          United States
          Member #10720
          January 23, 2005
          933 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: January 17, 2009, 10:52 am - IP Logged

          Pennsylvania some Stores have new terminals. One of them with, they gave me the wrong date on the Powerball tickets. It says Feb. 25 when I played for January! And I filled out betslips, so all they had to do was feed them into the machine!