To make the buying process for lottery tickets more efficient at food retailers, Scientific Games Corp. has launched its SCiQ InLane technology at grocery checkout in select Kroger stores in Kentucky.
Scientific Games provides gambling products and services to lottery, gambling, social and digital organizations worldwide. Through its partnership with the Kentucky Lottery, Kroger and global branded payments provider Blackhawk Network Inc., shoppers at Lexington, Kentucky, area Kroger stores can now purchase scratch games along with other grocery items in one convenient transaction at checkout.
"The convenience offered by the SCiQ InLane solution is a game changer for consumers who are focused on getting in and out of the grocery store quickly for many reasons, including COVID-19 concerns," said Michael Martin, VP retail solutions for Las Vegas-based Scientific Games. "SCiQ InLane offers unparalleled product security and the ability to engage light and lapsed players who don't visit lottery self-service machines in the store."
Retailers can securely integrate SCiQ InLane with their point-of-sale system to sell lottery instant games via technology from payments partner Blackhawk Network. The technology features automated instant-game dispensing under the retail checkout counter with a high-visibility, dynamic menu display of the games on sale.
SCiQ InLane automatically tracks every unit of instant product sold in real time. According to Scientific Games, this level of category management, previously not available to retailers, allows greater visibility into sales performance and available inventory. SCiQ also automates the retailer's shift accounting reconciliation process, and significantly reduces labor costs.
"Consumer data is a critical element to better serve our customers. The SCiQ solution provides us with the data needed to better serve our lottery players," said Jarrod Cummins, director of prepaid services for The Kroger Co., the largest of the Kentucky Lottery's grocery store partners. "Through our partnership with Scientific Games and long-standing relationship with Blackhawk Network, Kroger is delighted to be the first grocery store partner for checkout line lottery sales in the U.S., and we look to expanding this effort to additional states."
"Blackhawk is committed to bringing greater convenience to new and existing consumers purchasing instant lottery games," said Richard Gotlieb, VP of lottery and sports betting at Pleasanton, California-based Blackhawk. "Partnering with Scientific Games, Kroger and the Kentucky Lottery to support this innovative in-lane solution is yet another option that enables our retail partners to drive incremental sales and offer greater convenience to their customers."
Last year, Blackhawk also formed an agreement with Canada's Pollard Banknote Ltd. to support its scanACTIV solution allowing retailers to merchandise instant tickets “in-lane.”
Through its latest partnership, Blackhawk will further enable the delivery of a more convenient lottery experience at retail and open untapped opportunities for the Kentucky Lottery and Kroger to engage consumers.
"All of us at the Kentucky Lottery are excited to be chosen as the first state to test this new system, and we're looking forward to seeing how it performs in the marketplace," added Kentucky Lottery President and CEO Mary Harville. The Kentucky Lottery is one of the Top 20 lotteries in the world for instant- game per-capita sales.
According to Scientific Games, instant games are a nearly $60 billion consumer product category in the United States, with grocery stores representing approximately $11 billion (18.5%) of total instant-game retail sales. Scientific Games' products generate more than 70% of global instant-game retail sales.
It’s understandable that Kroger would want to make the lottery-buying process as easy as it can. After all, the $1 billion Mega Millions jackpot — the third- largest lottery jackpot — was purchased at a Kroger store in Michigan earlier this year. It was reported that for selling the winning ticket, the store would receive a $50,000 flat-rate commission.
Cincinnati-based Kroger employs nearly half a million associates who serve 9 million-plus customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names. The company is No. 3 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.