LANSING, November 13, 2008 – The Michigan Lottery’s conversion to a new gaming system is well underway as thousands of terminals, monitors and validation machines have been installed at retailer locations across the state.
Replacement of the Lottery’s over 10,000 terminals began in October and over 3,000 stores have their new equipment in place. It is expected to be completed by the end of January 2009.
In addition to the new terminals, Lottery players have been experiencing some of the other features of the new system, including new Club Keno video monitors, new self-service terminals and instant ticket vending machines, and ticket self-checkers.
In addition to the equipment upgrades like terminals and self-checkers, players have also noticed monitors at the point of purchase on which they can view their transactions, winning numbers, jackpot information and new game information; and tickets are now printed on thermal paper which is much clearer and more readable than prior to conversion.
While many components of the conversion are obvious, updates mostly unseen by players will be noticeable under certain circumstances. Chief among them is the switch the Lottery will make from land telephone lines to a satellite communications network for transmission of non-instant ticket purchases. This will enable much faster transactions and will be particularly evident when large Mega Millions jackpot result in a high volume of ticket sales.
“The conversion process is very detailed and very lengthy, but is progressing on schedule without any difficulties,” Lottery Commissioner M. Scott Bowen said. “I am extremely pleased that when the conversion is completed, the Michigan Lottery will be able to provide the most technologically advanced service possible to our millions of players and thousands of retailers.”
Bowen said the Lottery’s contract for the conversion and operation of the system is with the GTECH Corporation, one of only a handful of gaming systems providers in the world. He said the Lottery’s conversion expense is funded by a percentage of sales over the life of the contract, which was awarded to the GTECH Corporation in a competitive bid process. The new system is being provided at a 30 percent reduction from current rates.
“Every dollar that we save means there is more to contribute to the education in Michigan, and that is our primary goal,” Bowen said.
The Lottery’s last systems update was in 1993 and terminals were last updated in 1999.
Terminals are much more user friendly for the Lottery retailers, with touch screens and a number of help functions that will provide assistance should the retailer have questions.
Specifically, the equipment portion of the Lottery’s conversion includes the following:
-replacement and/or installation of over 10,500 terminals.
-replacement and/or installation of 6,000 Club Keno monitors.
-replacement and/or installation of about 1,550 instant ticket vending machines, 200 online and instant ticket self-service terminals, and 500 online only self-service terminals.
-replacement and/or installation of about 10,450 ticket self-checkers.