GTECH Corporation, a subsidiary of the Italian company Lottomatica Group S.p.A., announced Monday that they “signed a five-year contract extension with the Oregon Lottery to continue providing online/instants system technology, self-service lottery products and services, as well as new multimedia messaging display units. The contract extension will run through November 30, 2020, and is expected to generate total revenues for GTECH of approximately $50 million, commencing in the fourth quarter of 2015.”
The GTECH contract extension is particularly notable given the recent news of other states moving into online lottery ticket sales. Illinois is the first to allow Internet lottery ticket sales, with a test product going live last month.
GTECH and Oregon have already tested these waters to some degree, with a controversial website called the ORcade. In late 2011, the lottery commission launched the ORcade site as a test, but it was quickly pulled after a backlash over the site’s cartoon-themed games which were seen as being targeted to children.
The website allowed visitors to type in the ticket numbers of their losing instant scratch-off lottery tickets for a second chance to win cash prizes. In addition, there were other games that awarded non-cash prizes. ORcade skirted the legal restrictions on online gambling by only offering cash prizes as an add-on to tickets that were legally purchased at a retail lottery outlet. With the recent opinion issued by the US DOJ that the Federal Wire Act only applies to sporting event wagers, this kind of side-stepping of the definition of gambling seems unnecessary now.
Will the GTECH expertise and experience with online lottery and online casino products be the next step for the Oregon lottery? I think that by the time this contract extension begins in 2015, many states will already be aboard the online casino bandwagon. I bet Oregon is among them.