Some in South Dakota who buy tickets for Powerball, Dakota Cash, Hot Lotto and Wild Card 2 should have a shorter wait in line by next summer.
The South Dakota Lottery has signed a new contract with Scientific Games Corp., the company that operates the 355 lotto terminals across the state.
The Lottery will pay about $8 million over three years for the company to run the lotto games.
But the agreement includes a savings of about $1.5 million and an agreement that Scientific Games will replace all the lotto machines, upgrade the network and allow the state to add more lotto terminals, said Mike Mueller, Lottery spokesman.
The company agreed to the sweeter deal to make up for revenue lost last summer when the system went down about six times, he said. It also helped that the Lottery extended the contract, which was up in two years, Mueller said.
"We got the best deal possible for the state," he said.
The Lottery Commission approved the agreement Friday, Mueller said.
The company has changed names but the core owners of Scientific Gaming have had the contract to provide the lotto terminals since 1990, said Clint Harris, executive director of the Lottery.
"I'm pleased to continue with that relationship. I'm also pleased they were willing to work with us in exchange for an extension," he said. "Our retailers should like the changes."
One of them is David Bruns, who manages Buche Foods in Gregory.
His store has one of 100 terminals out of the 355 statewide that connects to the lotto system over a dial-up telephone connection.
When the upgrades are done by next summer, all terminals will have a connection that's always on, either through satellite, radio waves or the Internet, Mueller said.
Bruns said the store is never really busy but anything to make the wait shorter for customers will help.
"There's times it takes 20 seconds just for it to connect, where if it's automatic, it's going to be a lot quicker. I can definitely see it being a plus," he said.
Mueller said besides going from an analog to digital system, the state will also be able to install more terminals at no added cost.
The old contract allowed the Lottery to have up to 375 terminals as part of the deal. Now, the state could have 425 statewide without having to pay more, he said.
The Lottery is coming off a record fiscal year.
Revenue to the state from various Lottery games topped $115.5 million through June, a 3.3 percent increase over last year, according to the agency.
Sales of lotto tickets, which are sold through the terminals being replaced, increased nearly 23 percent, accounting for more than $18.7 million in sales and more than $4.8 million in revenue to the state, the Lottery said.