Includes video report
By Todd Northrop
The Kansas Lottery's new, advanced central gaming system is now "live" at more than 1,700 Kansas Lottery retailers across the state. This follows a successful conversion by the Lottery's new technology partner Scientific Games as part of an overall plan to responsibly increase returns to the State of Kansas. The Lottery's data transfer and official switch-over from the old systems technology took place July 29.
"Careful planning started more than two years ago for this complex technology project," said Terry Presta, Executive Director of the Kansas Lottery. "The entire Lottery staff and hundreds of Scientific Games technologists and personnel have worked closely together on this enormous effort. The expertise of all of these lottery professionals and extensive quality testing has ensured the security and integrity of the games Kansans enjoy so much."
Tony Patton, a Pittsburg resident, is excited about the new Kansas Lottery system. In an interview he told a news reporter, "I spend usually about a hundred bucks a month. It just depends if I win, cause if I win good, I'll buy more."
Patton added that the new system is a big improvement.
The new lottery system brings new in-store cashier systems, TV monitors, and new scratch-off and electronic games to over 1,700 retailers in the state.
One of those is Pete's on south Broadway in Pittsburg.
Lindsay Little, the Store Manager at Pete's, said, "I was excited. I mean, I like new things and upgrades and some of the machines didn't always function correctly, so new in usually good. Hopefully it ends up being good."
But when the system was installed at Pete's earlier this week, they hit a few road blocks.
"We couldn't scan tickets, we couldn't cash anything in because it was just trying to connect, it was a communication errors," Little said. "Today is like the first full day that we've been able to use it, and it's been going well today."
Sally Lunsford, Kansas Lottery Public Affairs Director, explained that glitches are common during a new system rollout. "That always happens when you have a conversion like this, but it hasn't been extreme by any means."
According to lottery officials, one of the biggest advantages to the new system is that it's faster, meaning more money for the state in the long run.
"The new terminals are extremely fast, so we believe that will hopefully save a little time for retailers, clerks, as well as players," Lunsford said.
According to the Kansas Lottery, gaming brought in over $74 million in revenue for the state last year — something they hope faster terminals will help improve.
Lunsford explained, "It will really help to prepare us for the future as we look for ways to maximize our returns to the state through new products and services."
Products that Patton wants to see improve even more.
"It keeps on improving, it'll keep me as a customer."
Officials with the Kansas lottery also anticipate installing lottery vending machines some time next year.
In the meantime, players can look forward to these changes right now:
- New retail point-of-sale terminals and other in-store equipment that offer convenience and speed-of-service.
- Modern new TV monitors for Keno have been installed at Lottery retailers.
- Kansas players can enjoy an exciting portfolio of draw games, plus a new electronic virtual race game called Racetrax that offers the thrill of horse racing and the payout and prizes of a Keno game. All Kansas Lottery retailers offer Racetrax, including more than 300 locations where players can watch the races on TV monitors.
Players should be aware that old play slips will no longer work in the new machines. New play slips that are compatible with the new lottery terminals are available at every lottery retailer.
Also, draw game tickets (Powerball, Mega Millions, etc.) printed before July 29 cannot be scanned on new Ticket Checkers. Clerks will be able to scan these "legacy" tickets on lottery terminals, however. (A video is included below describing how to claim "legacy" tickets.)
"We are thrilled to welcome the Kansas Lottery to the Scientific Games' systems family. The new enterprise gaming system and related services from Scientific Games will help the Lottery achieve the strategic goals it set to maximize returns to State of Kansas programs," said Pat McHugh, Senior Vice President of Global Lottery Systems for Scientific Games. "We are honored to be the provider of choice to help the Lottery grow over the next decade and serve its players and retailers by continuously integrating the industry's most innovative game content, products, and technology."
Since the Kansas Lottery's start up in November 1987, lottery ticket sales have produced more than $1.8 billion in revenues transferred to the State of Kansas.
VIDEO: Watch the report
VIDEO: Watch the launch event
VIDEO: How to check "legacy" Kansas lottery tickets