Michigan

The Michigan Lottery has extended its agreement with Scientific Games for the company’s cloud-based gem|Intelligence software, according to a press release from Scientific Games. The relationship management (RRM) platform was one of key elements for the success of the Michigan Lottery, credited with increasing instant game sales.

Entirely based on cloud technology, the gem|Intelligence software is designed to help increase the retail performance and improve the operational efficiency of the program in part by allowing the Lottery district sale representatives to constantly stay in touch with retailers and provide support as needed.

William Griffin of the Michigan Lottery emphasized that gem|Intelligence has been one of the instrumental tools for the retailers, sales representatives, and management alike. In addition to helping the company increase the penetration of its instant games, it has also helped significantly improve the communication between Lottery stakeholders.

The gem|Intelligence software is a part of SG’s gem|Suite portfolio designed to help streamline the lottery business. The retailer RRM platform can be used across various modern devices, and it provides almost real time access to the information about retail performance.

The data is presented graphically and easy to read, making gem|Intelligence tools even more useful and easier to implement. The user-friendly and simple interface has certainly helped the software’s wide acceptance and application in Michigan and across other states.

Scientific Games’ Lottery Group Chief Executive Patrick McHugh emphasized the company is very happy to continue the successful collaboration with the Michigan Lottery. “Scientific Games
embraces the strong, collaborative business relationship our gem|Suite team has created with the
Lottery and its retailers to help maximize profits for Michigan education. We are very pleased that our integrated, cloud-based performance-management applications helped the Michigan Lottery increase instant game sales and streamline operations.”

SG’s gem|Suite has played an important role in the lottery’s success thus far in supporting K-12 education in Michigan, as a substantial share of lottery proceeds is allocated for this purpose.

A bit more than 60% of all Lottery sales is paid back to the players through various prizes, according to the Michigan Lottery. The remainder is allocated to K-12 education and to support local business and companies that employ Michigan residents.

In fiscal year 2019, the Michigan Lottery contributed over a billion dollars to the School Aid Fund alone. Since 1972, the Lottery has contributed more than $23 billion to the School Aid Fund.

In addition to their gem|Suite, SG also supplies the Michigan lottery with a great number of instant games and other licensed properties. The company has a very strong presence in the lottery sector, servicing more than 150 lotteries on the global level and acting as the main provider for almost all lotteries in North America.

Online Poker Coming to Michigan Soon

Following the success of its lottery games, the state of Michigan has legalized online gaming including online poker, casino games and sports betting.

State gaming regulators are currently working hard to launch igaming before the end of the year, with the possibility that the launch could take place before the end of the month still alive.

In September, the Executive Director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) said publicly that he hoped that a Michigan online gaming launch could happen “by late fall.”

According to documents published by the MGCB, the online poker rooms that could be expected in the initial igaming launch in the Wolverine State include PokerStars MI and partypoker MI.

Other top online poker rooms that serve regulated markets in the US (namely WSOP MI and 888poker MI) are more likely to launch after the issue of shared liquidity is resolved.

A bill that would allow the MGCB to authorize its license holders to combine their player pools with those in other states that offer legal regulated online poker could become law before the end of the year. However, the bill specifically states that in order for shared liquidity to be allowed it must not violate federal law.

Currently the Trump administration is seeking to reinterpret the 1961 Wire Act in a way that would prohibit most online gaming that crosses state lines.

So far, the courts have ruled against such a reinterpretation, but the case is currently before
the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit where a decision could come soon.

It is also possible that with the pending change in the White House, the Biden administration may direct the Department of Justice to abandon efforts to prohibit multi-state online poker, a position in line with the original interpretation of the Wire Act issued during the Obama administration when Biden was vice president.